Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique

by Mozambique School Lunch Initiative
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique
Providing school lunches to kids in Mozambique

Greetings from Mozambique!

Thanks to your support, we have been serving school lunches every day across seven rural primary schools in Mozambique. These lunches are packed with vital nutrients and are helping children have the fuel they need to grow and learn. We also source as much food as possible from local farmers, which means that the meals are full of fresh ingredients and are also benefiting the local economy. 

For a lot of these kids, the school lunch is the most nutritious meal they will eat each day. In fact, we intentionally chose to work in communities with high rates of vulnerable children -- children who are orphans or are living under the poverty line. Each day in the field, we see the excitement of the kids who come to school, knowing that they will get a great lunch at noon. This kind of dependability is essential, as it provides a critical safety net for kids who face hunger at home. Your support allows us to consistently serve these meals and support the education of the students. This year we have 1,665 students in our school lunch program. That's a lot of meals every day, but we have plans to grow further, as there are many more students in rural students across Mozambique who could benefit. That is why spreading the word about our project is so important, and we are thankful for your contributions and advocacy. Serving the most vulnerable in Mozambique is indeed a difference that you can make, even from thousands of miles away. As Mozambicans commonly say, "estamos juntos" or "we're together"!

As always, we are also grateful for your support in making this work happen! We are also thankful for the incredible team in Mozambique, including the management staff, the cooks, the preschool teachers, the mentors, the farmers, and everybody who contributes along the way.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Roberto, our Programs Manager, with students
Roberto, our Programs Manager, with students

Happy Holidays from Mozambique!

As we reflect on 2021, we are so grateful to have had tremendous support to provide more school meals than ever. We served school lunches to 1,858 primary school students across seven schools, and in the second half of 2021 we also managed to extend our program to two new community preschools as well, bringing the nutritional and educational benefits to almost 200 younger kids.

Teachers told us time and time again that the school lunch program really helped bring kids back to school after the pandemic interruptions of 2020. It was always a joy to see the students running to the lunch line every day at noon. We are happy to be able to provide something that the kids can count on each day. We also take great pride in serving high-quality and delicious food, meals that we would happily serve our own children. Each day the cooks prepare hot meals using fresh and nutritious ingredients, bean stews with vegetables, peanut curry, and chicken, often served with a side of orange sweet potatoes and beets!

What's more, since we buy as much food as possible directly from local farmer groups, we have also been able to further the impact of our resources to generate income for families in the community. By working with the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative, these farmers are able to access improved inputs like tractor services, irrigation, and better seeds, all of which helps them increase their production so they have more to sell to the school lunch program. It is a win-win strategy, and a core part of our approach to reducing hunger and alleviating poverty in rural Mozambique.

All of this work is a team effort. The leadership team, cooks, teachers, and farmers are always in communication, constantly coordinating all of the pieces necessary to ensure that the kids get the meals they deserve. That's why, ever since we started serving school lunches in 2016, we haven't missed a single school day. The generous donations from our supporters make our work on the ground possible, and we thank you for being part of our effort to ensure children have the nutrition they need to grow and learn.

Students being served lunch in Duvane School
Students being served lunch in Duvane School
Students in the shade having lunch at Chate School
Students in the shade having lunch at Chate School
Farmers selling sweet potatoes to the schools
Farmers selling sweet potatoes to the schools
Preschool students eating lunch
Preschool students eating lunch
Cooks serving lunch in Cumba School
Cooks serving lunch in Cumba School

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

1,858 -- that's the number of school lunches served daily by the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative this year. Each morning, the cooks rise early and start boiling water, chopping vegetables, and measuring pounds of beans to prepare the school lunches. With their dedication and consistency, we are very proud to ensure that kids have a school lunch every school day without fail. The lunches are served hot, and are prepared from fresh ingredients, many of which come from the local farmers in the surrounding village. We care about kids' nutrition, and we care about doing things right.

Due to the ongoing hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the school lunch program continues to provide an important safety net for kids who might otherwise face hunger or malnutrition. They might also not attend school as frequently, jeoporadizing their education and their long-term future. Instead, what we've seen with the school lunch program is record attendance rates. We are hopeful that this enthusiasm for learning will help kids recover from some of the lost schooling of 2020.

In addition, over the last several months, we have seen record production from our farmer groups, who have been harvesting and selling beans, tomatoes, kale, beets, and onions. All of these foods go straight into the school lunches. This means that for every donation, there is a double impact: it buys school meals for students and it provides income for farmers. That's a win-win from our perspective!

Lately, we have also been very encouraged by the support we've received from the local communities where we work. For example, a women's farmer cooperative in Bombofo village harvested and donated, free of charge, cassava and collard greens to feed more than 300 students at their local primary school. In another community, Chate A, the community pooled together resources to buy the materials for and build a small storage shed and kitchen for their schools' lunch program. These instances reinforce the community-oriented focus we take at MSLI, and makes us feel that we're all in this effort together. Thank YOU for being part of that effort as well!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

On June 1st, we celebrated International Children's Day in Mozambique, particularly thankful for all of the support we have received this year for our school lunch program. Since schools re-opened in March, we have been serving daily school meals to over 1,800 primary school students, helping them get back in the classroom and focus on their studies. The students have been really enjoying the hot lunches of rice and beans, chicken, and vegetable peanut stew. Each month, we adapt our menu to the locally available produce, ensuring that the kids have fresh, quality meals. Last month, we built simple kitchens at two of the largest schools where we work, making it easier for the cooks to prepare and serve the school meals. 

Last week, on May 23rd, we also celebrated the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative's 5-year anniversary! Each year, we have been able to grow and serve more students, and it is amazing to look back on all that we have learned over the last few years. I was also reflecting on how, for the four schools where we first started in 2016, a student in the fifth grade this year has been able to depend on school lunches every single day of her school experience. Ever since she started the first grade, she has had a delicious hot lunch at school, helping her grow and focus on her studies. And thanks to the ongoing support of our donors, we have ensured consistency for these students throughout the last five years. What a difference that makes! Yet, school lunch programs still reach less than 5% of schools in Mozambique, and so we have a lot of work to do.

Thank you for being part of our journey and giving us something extra special to celebrate with the students in Mozambique on this Children's Day!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

After exactly one whole year of schools being closed, March 22nd, 2021 marked the first day of schools reopening and the start of the 2021 school year in Mozambique! The Mozambique School Lunch Initiative is excited to be part of the effort to get kids back in the classroom and ready to learn. This means a delicious school lunch of course!

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, we are now serving more kids and schools than ever. This year, our program has expanded to include a seventh school – Chate A Primary School. This school has 595 students, bringing our total up to about 1,800 from just under 1,200 in 2020. We are really happy to be able to expand at such a critical moment and serve school lunches to more kids.

In addition, in order to address the needs of younger children, next month we are launching community preschools alongside two primary schools where we currently serve school lunches: Duvane and Bombôfo. We expect to enroll 200-300 preschool students, ages 3-5 years, across these two schools. The preschool will help younger kids develop the key skills they need to be ready for school. This is especially important in rural areas of Mozambique where many kids grow up without any exposure to the Portuguese language – which makes it really hard when they get to first grade and all school instruction is in Portuguese (the national language of Mozambique). And of course, the preschool kids also get a delicious and nutritious school lunch each day! We are hoping that by reaching these younger kids, we can go even further to prevent early childhood malnutrition.

This means ~2,000 school lunches will be served to kids each school day this year! Thank YOU for supporting the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative and making this happen.

We are also continuing to support local farmer groups to grow and sell the food for the school lunch program. This generates income for farmers and their families and provides fresh, quality food for the school lunch program -- a win-win! This year we are working with 51 farmers who are producing beans, peanuts, sweet potatoes, beets, kale, tomatoes, onions, and more! For the first time, this year we have a chicken coop run by 5 farmers in Bombôfo village. Ever since we started the school lunch program in 2016, "Chicken Day" has always been a favorite among students, so we are excited about this new component of our program.

The opening of schools and the re-start of our school lunch program is not without ongoing challenges in the face of COVID-19. Schools are taking additional health and safety measures and our school lunch program is adapting as well. But with a can-do attitude and the support from many, many people, we are excited to do as much as we can to help kids in Mozambique get the nutrition and education they need to grow up strong and smart. Thank you for being part of our journey!

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Mozambique School Lunch Initiative

Location: SPOKANE, WA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Cara Myers
SPOKANE, WA United States
$11,298 raised of $30,000 goal
 
139 donations
$18,702 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Mozambique School Lunch Initiative has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.