Schools thrive as benefits of feeding scheme become apparent

Thu Jul 12 09:08:00 UTC 2018

 

Better school attendance, improved levels of reading and health as well as skills in planting and maintaining a food garden.

Charles Bota, General Manager of Shoprite Zambia, recently highlighted these benefits enjoyed by learners at Chipata Open Community School in Lusaka following a long-term feeding scheme established in partnership with the retailer.

Shoprite’s Mobile Soup Kitchen along with partners Imana and Agogos kept the learners fed for a year, while the retailer partnered with Starke Ayres to establish a food garden at the school, which is supported by Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS). Now that the garden is flourishing, the vegetables grown in it are being used to feed the learners.

 

“Before the feeding scheme, reading levels at the school plateaued at 38%. With the introduction of a meal each day, 73% of our learners are now able to read. Attendance in general increased, but it’s the attendance of girls that skyrocketed once word spread that learners received a meal at school. Normally parents keep their girls at home to help out there. However, the provision of a daily meal was too good an opportunity to pass up with the result that more girls started attending school.”

- Chipata’s head teacher Joseph Daka

 

Bota urged the community around Chipata School “to ensure that the garden keeps on thriving in order for the feeding scheme to continue and benefit more learners.”

He also pointed to the retailer’s success following a similar partnership with Linda Open Community School outside Lusaka.

At the Linda Open Community School improved academic performance was another positive spin-off of the feeding scheme.

At the Linda Open Community School outside Lusaka, improved academic performance is a positive spin-off of the feeding scheme.
“We achieved a 97% pass rate in Grade 7 and a 95% pass rate in Grade 9.”

- Linda Open Community School's Head teacher Doreen Nzila

 

Furthermore there was a marked improvement in the attendance of children living with HIV/Aids, who were often absent due to illness before the advent of a feeding scheme at the school.

Following the achievements at both Linda and Chipata Schools, Shoprite’s Mobile Soup Kitchen is now serving meals at Chainda Community School, also in Lusaka, in anticipation of the food garden that will also be planted there.

As a business with heart, Shoprite is committed to transforming the communities in which it operates.