Zanzibar Prepare for Home Grown School Feeding

The Government of Zanzibar are preparing for its first Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programme which is soon to be launched to reach over 5000 children from 10 schools in regions which experience high levels of poverty and malnutrition. 

The first stages of a community sensitization exercise took place in the islands' Unguja and Pemba regions to nine communities. During the sensitization, teams made up of district and national education, health and agriculture ministry officers and the Partnership for Child Development (PCD), Imperial College London introduced the HGSF programme, provided an overview of the involvement of all programme stakeholders and outlined expectations from the community. 

The exercise highlighted the "win-win" benefits of the coming HGSF programme, which will be felt by both children and farmers alike; children, provided with a hot nutritious meal will be more able to learn and concentrate whilst in school and at the same time, farmers' livelihoods will be secured through the provision of farmer produce to the school meals. 

Community Support to the Programme

Through consultations with the communities they outlined they were happy to provide support to the programme to further ensure its sustainability. This support will be made by: identifying and providing school cooks, collecting water and firewood, constructing kitchen and storage areas and assisting in the continued monitoring of the programme to see its effective implementation.

During the sensitization the community were asked how they felt about the programme as a whole and whether they were happy with the assistance provided to them and the expectations placed on them. In all nine communities members stated they were extremely happy with the intervention and most of the communities mentioned they had been thinking of carrying out something similar themselves but they had not had access to the resources and they had not known how to start such a programme.  

Following the exercise, communities have now begun to prepare food storage units and kitchens, farmers have begun forming farmer groups to be able to best supply the food requested in the school meals, and final preparations and logistics for feeding Zanzibar's school children are progressing.

From 8 - 10 May PCD and the Zanzibar Government also carried out two school level trainings on the HGSF programme on both Unguja and Pemba Island to 57 participants including the programme's schools' head teachers, school meal teachers, cooks and the district level agriculture and health government officers.  

From Policy to Programme  

The HGSF programme in Zanzibar has been driven by the Government of Zanzibar and their desire to provide one nutritious meal a day to the primary school children of Zanzibar.  The process of beginning the pilot has been driven at a national level through good intersectoral policy on food security and nutrition.  Transforming the policy into a programme has involved detailed technical support from PCD with funding provided by philanthropic organisation Table for Two


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