There is an alarming high rate of malnutrition in DR Congo. Fourty three percent of children under the age of 5 are chronically malnourished. This is due to lack of food, lack of security, and a high unemployment rate resulting in poverty. Sixty nine percent of the population lives on less than US$1.90 per day (USAID).
Statistics confirm that malnourished children perform at a lower level in school than children who have three balanced meals a day. Malnutrition also affects the emotional health and the immune system; there is a higher rate of depression and children get sick more easily and heal more slowly. The risk of dying from malaria, HIV and tuberculosis is higher.
In the village where our school is located, almost all the children only eat once a day. Because of poverty, sometimes there is no food at all. It is custom to eat that one meal around 4 pm. So the children come to school without breakfast and they don’t have lunch. In school it was noticed that the children were not able to pay attention and sometimes a child fainted. As you can imagine it is really hard to study with a hungry stomach!
We believe that food is a basic human right. Therefore, in January 2018 we started the School Breakfast Program serving a breakfast twice a week. We have built a kitchen and have bought cups and spoons for all the children. Before school starts the children receive a breakfast porridge made of corn flower, soy flower, sorghum, and sugar. Our vision is to further decrease malnutrition rate by offering school breakfast to the children six days a week. This means all the days they go to school. In addition, we want take care for families that go hungry, one family at a time.