11,632 Schoolchildren in Kenya Received Nutritious Meals – Great Plains School Food Scheme
Kenya has experienced diminished rainfall over the past two years, leading to severe drought in many regions. The communities of the Mbirikani Group Ranch and Shompole Group Ranch are mainly pastoralists who depend on their livestock for income. The ongoing drought has led to a devastating loss of livestock. As a result, families are going without food and water and school attendance and progress is diminishing. Education is at the core of development and progress for the next generation and Great Plains focuses on understanding barriers to education and working to ensure barriers are lifted and productive education continues.
Impact Through Education is a core focus of the Great Plains Foundation for community upliftment. One of the reasons rural schools in Kenya are seeing low attendance in schools is due to the lack of food. The Great Plains School Food Program is supplying nutritious meals to Pre-schools, Primary and Secondary schools across Kenya. The aim of the program is to encourage kids to attend school and to provide nutrition to boost their performance.
The Great Plains School Food Program 2023 has been underway in the Amboseli and Shompole regions of Kenya. The distribution of food for Term 1 has been ongoing over the last few weeks, supporting 16 schools of 3,375 students in Shompole Region and 29 schools with 8,257 students in the Amboseli Region, with a nutritious meal a day to support their education progress. Every child in the communities that Great Plains supports will now have access to a healthy balanced meal to boost their education and opportunities.
In each region a Great Plains School Food Program Launch Ceremony kicked off the distributions with key community leaders gathering to speak about the threats of the drought and the value of education and school food for progress. The ceremonies were opened with a series of traditional dances, songs and poems from the school children.
“The mission of the Foundation is a long-term investment in local communities. The Great Plains School Food Program is having a huge impact, encouraging school children to come to school, receive nutritious food and progress in their education. Before this program the number of kids attending all schools was very down at under 50% and predicted to go down to 20%, and now since the start of the program we are at the 100% maximum of kids attending schools through the motivation of the food relief.” – Kinyaku Konee, Community Liaison Amboseli Region.
“We have an issue with malnutrition in this area so this food is improving the kids nutrition and improving of performance. When there is no food the children cannot concentrate, they won’t listen and some of them are sleeping because they have no food. Thank you Great Plains Foundation for supplying the food” – Peter Lekanaiya, Chairman of MGR Teachers Association
In Maasai culture we have a saying – “Enkoshoke naata osotua”… which translates to “he who feeds you genuinely cares for you” – Daniel, Secretary of Shompole Community Group Ranch.