This May saw the start of our feeding programme for hungry children at the nursery in Malawi, at which volunteers assist with preschool education. It is the first time I have ever heard complete silence from the children, as they sat in anticipation on the first day we provided food!
You may have woken to news this morning that 1 in 8 people goes to bed hungry! In Malawi, the Naturally Africa Foundation and Naturally Africa Volunteers with the support of kind donors and our volunteers is playing our small part to reduce world hunger.
At the nursery for vulnerable children that we support and our volunteers assist with the preschool education and care of the children we now provide food each weekday morning. Many of the hungry children often arrive at the nursery, having not had any breakfast and without any food, whilst others share (as is customary in Malawi) the small amount of food they have with them. Unsurprisingly their energy levels are often low, concentration can be poor and development hindered, due to hunger and poor nutrition.
Feeding hungry children
In May, we constructed a feeding shelter near to the community centre building where the nursery is based for local carers to be able to prepare food daily for the children. We are providing a maize porridge, which is a significant part of the staple diet in Malawi, mixed with soya flour. The soya is a rich source of protein, which is essential as part of a balanced diet, especially for growing children. In the absence of meat and other sources of protein from the normal diet in areas of extreme poverty, soya is considered an important potential alternative.
As well as the obvious implications of improved nutrition for the children, the feeding and increased energy levels will enable the children to attend the nursery for a little longer each day, hence providing better care and hopefully combined with greater concentration levels will enhance the children’s education.
It is also our hope that the number of children attending the nursery will increase as a result of the feeding, as more parents are motivated to send their children to attend. Preschool education is vitally important in preparing the children for their primary education and has been shown to dramatically improve performance of children at primary level. This is particularly the case in a country like Malawi, in which lessons are taught in English from a very early age and hence even basic English learnt at preschool can make a significant difference.
If you would like to volunteer to assist with teaching in Africa then please get in touch. If you would like to make a donation to support our feeding programme, which we also wish to expand to other communities and preschools in the future, our charity has set up a special fund that you may donate to online at www.charitygiving.co.uk/nataf-nursery
Thank you for your support feeding hungry children to reduce world hunger!