Keeping up concentration levels at school is not easy when your stomach is aching from hunger. In fact, even the walk to school on an empty stomach (a walk that can cover several miles) can be too much to endure. That is why we felt it so important to support the children of La Prussia, Nicaragua, by assisting with a feeding program at school.
This program offers children a nutritious, meal made from rice and vegetables, that mothers from the village cook at lunch time. They have noticed a change in the general behavior of their children since the feeding program began.
“Geovany would misbehave at home, getting into trouble all the time. Since he has been receiving the food at school, he is much better behaved and is even doing chores at home!” said Adriana, a mother helping out at the school.
In the past, many children have suffered from illnesses due to poor hygiene. As part of the school feeding program, children are taught the importance of hygiene and wash their hands before each meal. This, too, is having an impact on their health, with less stomach infections being reported.
The greatest impact has been on attendance and grades. Teachers have noted a marked improvement on test results.
“Since we have had the meals, the grades of the pupils have increased dramatically. The students are spending more time doing their work rather than being distracted by what is happening around them. One little girl managed to get full marks this week, and yet only six months ago, she hardly answered any questions to the tests we gave her,” says a fifth grade teacher.
On top of everything, children’s energy levels have also increased. Many can be seen having fun, running around the school play area during break times.
“It’s wonderful to see! We can’t believe how many things have improved at our school since the feeding program began. When we have our staff meetings, we now talk about the future possibilities for our pupils: what jobs they may get and even about college prospects! We’re grateful for all the support we are receiving from Outreach International. You can see what a difference you are making to our school.” – Head Teacher, La Prusia
Photos and post by Wayne Rowe – Outreach International