That’s a mouthful of a title! It is the American Overseas Dietetic Association International Project Award (not india pale ale!). Annie Mtika and I are both nutritionists – Annie lives in my country (USA) and I live in her country (Malawi). With the award, we are going to help a school in Annie’s home community over the next 2 years to improve their nutrition. The money will be used to open the school communities eyes to the available solutions through facilitated exchange visits, to bring in facilitators who are already successful to help them understand how they can better use their own resources.
Kahelere Junior Primary School is located in Euthini, Mzimba, a rural area in Malawi. The school enrolls approximately 220 children from grades 1 to 5. Most of these children come to school without breakfast or snacks, which affects participation in class sessions and regular attendance in school. This problem is partially being addressed by the school meals program, which is run by the community of villages surrounding the school. The program is financially supported by Pamoza International www.Pamoza.org , an organization based in the U.S. but operating in Malawi. The nutrition program involves growing food crops that are used for making a meal at schools and for selling any surplus produce to reinvest in the program. This goal is in line with the Ministry of Education’s School Health and Nutrition (SHN) Strategic Plan and Guidelines (2009-18), specifically working towards scale up of the Home Grown School Meals. Unfortunately, the current support from Pamoza and the government is not helping the school to produce enough food crops to sustain the program. The school is looking for funding to increase and diversify their food production through gaining skills in sustainable food and nutrition security, school meals management and nutrition education.