Feeding school children in Uganda

In Uganda, more than 8 million children attend primary school, yet only 33% of them receive at least one meal during the school day. Children in rural areas often return home for lunch, which can lead to missing afternoon classes. Providing nutritious meals for students at school is very important for them in many significant ways, including physiological growth, increased school enrollment, classroom concentration, in-classroom performance, learning and overall cognition.

Enabling children and young adults to fulfill their potential by providing a supportive learning environment, AKP is in the process of supporting more than 3,500 children across 11 schools surrounding the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda.

In each school, the lunch program starts with constructing kitchens and storage where the food is kept and cooked. Over the past eight months, AKP has built 10 new kitchens. The building process encountered various challenges, including how to get materials to the construction sites—pictured below (top left), women from the village are carrying bricks on their heads.

Although the lunch program has so far only been implemented in Ntungamo, some of the other schools immediately started registering more student numbers after announcing plans to introduce the program. Overall, the 11 schools saw an average 21% enrollment increase.

Teachers at Ntungamo Primary School have reported that since the lunch program was implemented, students no longer fall asleep in class. This has resulted in improved classroom performance, with a 96% increase in examination performance.