Zanzibar School Feeding Re-launched

Partners and the Government at the HGSF launch

Pupils, teachers and parents at Kijini village in Zanzibar's North 'A' district recently joined together to celebrate the revival of the country's school feeding programme which was abandoned in the 1970s.

Speaking at the programme’s launch on May 28 Zanzibar's Principal Secretary from the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Ms Mwanaidi Saleh said, "We thank TFT  and PCD for accepting Zanzibar's request for support." She continued, “Statistics from the areas where the school meals are being administered show that many children are faced with malnutrition, stunted growth, absenteeism and are engaged in child labour – all obstacles which will be addressed by school feeding.” 

A total of 5,250 nursery and primary school pupils are targeted for the HGSF project which will be run by several committees comprising representatives of health, agriculture and education ministries; the National Food Security and Nutrition committee and selected school committees. 

The programme which follows an HGSF approach sees that produce is procured from smallholder farmers so not only will child nutrition, health and learning be improved, but strong rural economies will be built and sustainable livelihoods created.  

"When the programme stopped in primary schools, it had a big impact on the children's growth, learning capability and attendance," said Mr Mussa Omar, a retired teacher at the re-launch of the programme last week. Mr Omar said children in nursery and primary schools need proper meals for their health.

The programme is being piloted in nine schools initially but the ultimate aim of the Government is to apply lessons learnt from the pilot in the delivery of meals to all schools throughout the country.   

News on the launch 

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