Dubai Cares visits Ghana to monitor & evaluate its HGSF programme

West Africa Coordinator for PCD, Daniel Mumuni with cooks in Ghana

A Dubai Cares team recently concluded a number of field visits to Ghana to monitor and evaluate its four year Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programme.

The aim of the US$2.7 million Dubai Cares funded programme launched in 2012, is to support the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) which impacts on 320,800 primary school children and 82,078 rural households, enhancing education prospects for children and providing farmer communities with reliable markets to sell their produce.

Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: “This field visit to Ghana underlines our commitment to effective monitoring and evaluation that ensures a culture of continuous learning and greater impact. It also helps us maintain a close relationship with the communities we are supporting.

HGSF programmes - a win win

HGSF programmes are a win-win for both children and the local rural community. By providing nutritious meals to school children, they are more likely to attend and stay in school and are better able to learn whilst they are there. By providing a stable market for locally grown food, HGSF programmes benefit the local agricultural economy in general, and smallholder farmers in particular.

The components of the Dubai Cares' Programme 

The first component of the HGSF programme, which is currently being implemented by the Government of Ghana with technical support provided by the Partnership for Child Development (PCD), aims to improve the nutritional quality of the food being provided in school meals so that nutrition requirements for energy, protein, vitamins A and C, Iron, Zinc and iodine of children 7-10 year old could be met using a variety of foods.

In turn, schools will advise farmers on what crops need to be grown to meet these nutritional needs. The second component is a community sensitization campaign, which educates parents about the importance of education and nutrition for school children and their families.

The third component is a complimentary deworming programme to ensure it is the child being fed and not the worms. 50,000 children each year will be treated with deworming tablets which are cheap, safe and effective.

Daniel Mumuni, Regional Coordinator for the Partnership for Child Development (PCD) West Africa said: ”Research conducted by PCD with the World Bank and World Food Programme (WFP) show that school feeding programmes improve children’s health, especially when integrated with comprehensive school health and nutrition programmes. The strength of this Dubai Cares funded programme lies in integrating nutrition, deworming and school feeding resulting in a holistic approach to children’s health.”

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