As I recently visited our first project school, Shalom primary school, I made one very positive observation. The school is cultivating crop to be used in the school feeding program. This may not seem like a major development to someone else but it is major improvement in such a school because it means in the near future the students will have a hot lunch twice a week without cost implications to the community.
To achieve this, the school is cultivating the small plot left after relocating the playing fields, and a tree growing area. It is not large enough to provide a hot lunch everyday -after the harvest- for long but it is a start to making the lives of these children better.
The school is utilizing the labor of the school kids mostly aged 12 years and above. This is in fact a common practice in such a rural community to start teaching kids how to work in the farms starting at these ages. Most of the kids work in their parent’s farms and are starting to learn how to properly grow crops. They grow corn and beans which are the most commonly grown crops in the community.
This will instill a sense of accomplishment in the children having worked together to grow something and later on enjoying the product of their ‘hard’ work. It also helps give respect to the process of growing food and thus it is more valued because you worked hard to get it.
The school expects the crop to be ready by September when the school starts the third term of the year. The students will have a school provided hot lunch on Wednesdays and Fridays for about five months.