Feed the Children creates a world where no child goes to bed hungry


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Every June 16,Tanzania joins the rest of the African Continent in commemorating the Day of the African Child.

By Jafari Juma

Every June 16, Tanzania joins the rest of the African Continent in commemorating the Day of the African Child.

The day has been celebrated  since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) as a way of honoring those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976. It also raises awareness of the ongoing need to enhancing African children's educational opportunities.

The 2022 theme for the Day of the African Child is “Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Progress on Policy & Practice since 2013”.

In Tanzania, Feed the Children joins the African community in commemorating this unique day by celebrating children's contributions to society and promoting awareness of society's role in achieving children's rights and aspirations.

Feed the Children does so by focusing on four primary pillars/programs: Education, Livelihoods, Food & Nutrition, and Health & Water, all of which are currently being implemented in Kisaraweand Morogoro Rural District.

Education

Feed the Children aims to ensure that all children will be able to enroll, feel safe, and complete a high-quality education that promotes lifelong learning which can potentially lead to increased access to education opportunities (enrollment, attendance, and completion through provision of scholastic materials and school meals); improved literacy and numeracy performance of school-aged children; improved quality education environments; improved child rights awareness; and improved water sanitation and hygiene infrastructures (latrines, hand washing).

The education pillar has so far supported over forty (40) schools in the program regions with a total number of 25,500 pupils who have benefitted from the provision of about 390 tons of fortified Corn-Soy Bean (CSB) flour and 130 tons of sugar for the school meal provision, the education starter packs (uniforms and stationary) provision, the construction of modern classrooms, provision of textbooks, provision of trainings to teachers on the specific subject matter and training to school committees and Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) on their responsibilities of managing schools, the establishment of school gardening for school meal support and as a way of generating school income, and as well as the installation of rainwater harvesting systems and storage tanks for school garden maintenance and other WASH related activities.

Livelihoods

The livelihood pillar in Tanzania was established in 2012, with a primary goal of supporting (reinvesting) school feeding project in Kisarawe (and in the future other project areas), the coast region, of

Tanzania back then, school feeding project was the main project conducted by Feed the Children in Tanzania.

This pillar was started as a way of creating the sustainability of the school meals programme. However, as time evolved the pillar was redesigned to work both in schools and the communities with the goal of making sure that families have self-reliance, financial stability, and food security to support and strengthen their communities.

What does Feed do in the Livelihoods Pillar?

Community economic empowerment

Feed has been supporting communities by forming Village Saving Groups (VICOBA) in 38 communities of Kisarawe and Morogoro whereas over 70 groups are currently operational. The total number of direct households benefiting from VICOBA is around 2,100.

School income generation projects

Feed has also been supporting schoolbased income generation projects including; improved mango orchards, poultry keeping, beekeeping as well as dairy cow projects. A total of 27 schools have benefitted.

The Livelihoods Pillar was established to ensure the sustainability of the school meals program. This being the case all interventions aimed at enhancing the household economic empowerment forparents to be able to actively contribute to the school meals program.

On the other hand, livelihood interventions are mostly implemented at the community level, where the children stay after school, so the aspects of nutrition, and child protection, are part and parcel of all the training and sensitizations undertaken in the communities.

Food and Nutrition

This pillar works hand in hand with the Education Pilar in ensuring the quality provision of school meals. The Pillar has been able to change the attitudes of parents/guardians on the importance of children eating in school which in turn has influenced the majority of the parents to work with school management in sustaining school meals program without the support of FEED. In the communities the Pillar uses the Mother-to-Mother (Care Groups) approach to provide essential education to household members on the maternal newborn and child health and nutrition.

Health and Water

Through this pillar, Feed is implementing projects to support safe menstrual issues for girl students in Morogoro District, where over 2000 primary school girls have been provided with reusable sanitary pads.

Feed has been implementing infrastructure improvement projects to facilitate access to essential water services to ensure students are in and out of good time during the menstrual cycle.

Feed is also implementing a project to encourage hand washing for students where they have successfully built three hand washing facilities in 35 primary schools in Morogoro Rural and Kisarawe Districts.

Also, through this Pillar, following the Covid-19 pandemic, Feed trains to lead mothers (Care groups), provide hand washing stations, and supply hand washing soap in Kisarawe.

Feed the Children call to the community

The community should have a responsibility to raise the child. We need to recognize that the child has the right to be protected and this responsibility must be exercised by the whole community.

The community needs to be educated to see "child as a child" (let a child, be a child). Having a clear understanding of this issue will help reduce the challenges the children.