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Today is the Africa Day for School Feeding, a global initiative celebrating school meals as the world’s most widely-used safety net for students, families and communities. Our school feeding initiatives enable us to reach children where they are and where we want them to stay: in the classroom.

In November, we shared Albertina’s story of resilience. Albertina is one of nearly 48,000 primary school children in drought-affected communities who are benefiting from our three-year Southern Africa School Feeding Initiative, as 14.2 million meals are distributed annually in 183 schools in partnership with Adventist Development and Relief Agency and with support from Islamic Relief USA.

On this Africa Day of School Feeding, we’re providing another glimpse into the lives of the students, teachers and school administrators impacted by this life-changing initiative:

The drought last year was a difficult period. Some of the students gave up coming [to school] to help their parents make money. Eighty students stopped coming — that’s 12% of our student population.

– Mrs. Sabina, school principal, Mozambique

Photo Credit: Jorge Matshinhe

Many students would come to school sleepy and some would leave early because of hunger. Some would go to their family’s village for the weekend to cut wood and grow crops and come back to school on Monday tired.

– Mr. Valdemara, 2nd grade teacher, Mozambique

Photo Credit: Jorge Matshinhe

The heat hurt us all, the drought was a disaster for the crops with lots of livestock loss, and while the government provided emergency food, it was only for couple of months. The families of my students still need support.

– Mr. Nsizwa, 6th and 7th grade teacher, Swaziland

We study a lot and I feel hungry all the time. I would like to have lunch everyday at school and not feel hungry.

– Celeste, age 9

Photo Credit: Jorge Matshinhe

We are very happy with the upcoming school feeding initiative. We have already started to give meals and we already see the benefits. Students that have dropped out are already coming back to school.

– Mr. Valdemara, 2nd grade teacher, Mozambique

Most importantly, students will learn that by themselves they will not survive, that you need community and that people come together to help each other — someone next to you will always help. And when opportunity comes the students can emulate this behavior and can themselves help others.

– Mr. Pehwnell, assistant principal and school meals coordinator, Swaziland

Photo Credit: Jorge Matshinhe

To support the Southern Africa School Feeding Initiative, and our initiatives to nourish lives around the globe, please consider making a donation today.


Shared in Blog, Nourishing Lives