September 2023: Kenya / Mathare: feeding school children

School children have been receiving a healthy meal every day for six years

This nutrition program covers a good 2,000 children every day at various schools and is primarily intended to help them concentrate during lessons, writes George Orimba, the person responsible and initiator of this project. An example: The 250 children in Mathare belong to a particularly vulnerable group. He mentions malnutrition as a very big problem. Therefore, the foodstuffs include cornmeal, cooking oil, rice, millet, beans and sugar. Due to the interruption of imports caused by the conflict, there is a shortage of food. At the same time, prices for essential goods are rising. Malnutrition is caused by chronic shortages of food, as well as vitamins and essential trace elements. Malnutrition has far-reaching consequences. Because digestion is impaired, children can no longer eat normally and are at risk of starvation. Food is not absorbed properly by the body. Malnourished children are more susceptible to diseases such as diarrhea, measles and pneumonia. The food situation currently remains dramatic, natural disasters due to climate change, brutal conflicts, import stops from Ukraine create food shortages that seriously threaten children’s health. Not only in Kenya, but also in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Somalia millions of people are threatened by deadly hunger, among them countless children. They need help, every second counts.

Where there is hunger, people are usually also affected by extreme poverty. An estimated 490 million people in Africa live on less than 2 euros a day. People emaciated by hunger are barely able to earn a living. As a result, millions of parents can no longer feed their children through their own efforts. Poverty was exacerbated by the Corona pandemic in particular, as children often received the only real meal of the day at school. The school closures meant that this meal was cancelled.