Community Based School Feeding Programme [Updated 02/07/2015]
Facilitate school feeding to increase enrolment and retention of refugee children in schools.
EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA
Our idea is to increase enrollment and retention of refugee children in schools in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement by engaging children, teachers, parents and community members in fun and skilled based community driven gardening enterprises! School and community based gardening activities will be jointly designed by children, teachers, parents and communities and incorporate aspects of nutrition education, modern gardening/farming techniques and skills and activities that can enhance children’s psychosocial well-beings. These activities can also help children easily understand the technical contents that are sometimes hard to grasp.
The project benefits both refugee and host community children who have struggled in class because of lack of midday school meals. School enterprises headed by children also equip them with entrepreneurial skills. Innovative community enterprises that support school feeding project can generate household income as well as create awareness of children’s nutrition and education issues among parents
[UPDATE02/07]The user experience map was developed by the team in Kampala, which made us see and realize the crucial roles of children in driving this program. From the awareness creation of the program to the design and development of school garden activities and enterprises, we focused on the question on how we might empower children throughout the process so that they would be able to negotiate important issues that affect their lives with authority figures including parents, community members and school communities. In Kyangwali, the initial prototyping session was conducted with school children and community members including parents. After introducing the refined program idea, participants were asked to imagine the ideal activities in school gardens as well as enterprises that can support the program. They have listed down all the possible contributions that they would like to make to start the school gardens (e.g. supplies of seeds, labor to clean up gardens and planting, firewood, fetching water, garden tools, etc.). Ideas such as exchange visits to successful school gardens in the country as well as setting up demonstration gardens to showcase new modern agricultural techniques were also brought up. The importance of providing children with a balanced nutritional meal, planting crops such as vegetables, cassava, sweet potatoes in the gardens was also mentioned during the session. Ideas of school enterprises that support school feeding program were also listed.
During the prototyping session of “ideal gardens” children addressed the concerns on how parents’ participation and involvement in the garden activities as well as school feeding program will change their perceptions on the importance of girls’ education. Children have also expressed if it is possible for school and community enterprise that support school feeding program to accommodate other pressing children’s needs such as scholastic materials and uniforms. Hiring cooks is one of the largest expenses in running the school feeding program. The team has also discussed how we might enhance parents’ support and volunteerism in filling this gap. Ideas of school enterprises that support school feeding program were highly seconded (e.g. soap production to improve hygiene and sanitation and production of energy saving stoves that help reduce the amount of firewood usage in cooking school meals) with identification of local experts from within the community who were previously trained by Action Africa Help (An implementing partner for UNHCR and a P4T partner in CBSFP since 2013) in Soap making and Energy Saving Stoves making.
HOW IS THIS IDEA DIFFERENT FROM WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION (OR OTHER ORGANIZATIONS) IS ALREADY DOING?
Since 2013, P4T has mobilised school children and their parents to collectively cultivate school gardens to facilitate production of beans and maize (for posho) to feed children and teachers at school. This intervention faced a lot of challenges especially in logistics, and human resource and monitoring.
This time round, CBSFP is planning to establish school and community enterprises that will be able to support the program even afterwards when the funded project duration is over. With diverse focus in food production, water and sanitation, energy saving, nutrition education, vegetable growing both in school and communities, the program will have enough income to meet its needs.
HOW WOULD YOU USE AMPLIFY FUNDING AND DESIGN SUPPORT?
Amplify funding will be used to meet costs of implementing CBSFP. To ensure that the project is quickly felt in the community yet sustainable and successful, there will be need for professionals, management systems, logistics for school and community enteprises (such as gardening tools, kitchen equipments, grinding mills, and training kits), training children and community in innovative agriculture, nutrition, sanitation and energy saving among others.
Design support will be required in training.
HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF THE CHALLENGE?
CBSFP provides an immediate solution to school feeding. Children will begin to eat at school in a duration not later than 3 months (duration it takes to have the first harvest).
CBSFP will promote education of both boys and girls who will be able to get food at school in all levels (primary and secondary). More so, school and community enterprises will generate income that will be channeled to support the underprivileged in schools.
Since this program is community based, commitment, good will and individual efforts will be valued more that monetary and other material resources that is scarce.
CBSFP will include parents, children, teachers from both refugee and host communities.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FROM THE AMPLIFY TEAM
How did the 2013 pilot go?
The 2013 pilot went on smoothly amidst challenges especially in areas of acquiring gardening and kitchen logistics and employing support staff. Community members and children strongly supported the program to the extent that in some schools, they could not wait for the first harvest, they contributed maize and beans to prepare lunch for Candidate and semi-candidate classes making the school feeding to begin instantly. So far 2 primary schools and 1 Secondary school are having the program ongoing.
What have you changed in response to that experience?
Previously, the program did not have aspect of income generation to support the CBSFP but this time, the program will facilitate formation of school enterprises (such as school garden, livestock, vegetable farm, and energy saving) and community enterprises that will all generate income to support sustainable running of CBSFP.
The program's focus was only to ensure school children are feeding without considering health and educational benefits that would come along. We have included nutritional aspect, sanitation aspect and energy saving aspects which will all be of great benefit to the program and these knowledge can be transferred to impact children's well being even at the community level.
In the pilot, did the community garden yield enough food to make a difference to the children involved?
yes, the target food yield was enough except that there was no balanced diet since only two crops (beans and maize) were grown.
Did it have an effect on retention of students in the school in question?
It has greatly helped in retention of students. During community interviews on pupils in Kyebitaka village in December 2014, there were confessions of reduction in deliberate absenteeism, resumption of schooling by school dropouts and some planned transfer of pupils from Kasonga Primary School to Kinakyeitaka Primary School (which had CBSFP running already).
How would you take this idea further - do you think it would work in other refugee camps?
Just like the way the program began in 2013 from one school and other schools got interested and managed to adopt. CBSFP can work in other refugee settlements.
How did you get the community involved?
Parents and Teachers meeting
How much time and work does it require of them and were people enthusiastic or reluctant to help?
Once in a fortnight
Do you think the project would continue without your direct involvement?
SKILL SHARE (optional)
We will need experts in business/enterprise development, water and sanitation, community development, nutrition and livelihoods.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
We are a team of experts in Kampala and Kyangwali in Uganda who work in the area of refugee protection, nutrition, community organizing and youth empowerment and agriculture.
IS THIS AN IDEA THAT YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO TAKE FORWARD?
Yes, and we are implementing/operating partners of UNICEF or UNHCR.