2024-06-23

CYECE’s school feeding project registers successes in Dowa

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The Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education (CYECE) -Support for school feeding and after-school initiative project, is said to have improved enrolment of learners in almost all the targeted schools in Mchinji, Kasungu, Ntchisi, and Dowa districts.

The project which is being implemented alongside partners Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company and Alliance One International Tobacco Company with funding from Phillip Morris International (PMI) has eliminated child labour in tobacco-growing communities.

The children that are targeted in the project are those of the farmers that are contracted by these two tobacco manufacturing companies, Limbe Leaf and Alliance One International and have helped to keep children in school through school feeding.

CYECE’s Field Officer Given Muyota said the project has led to increased awareness among teachers, children, farmers, and chiefs on child labor-related issues and children’s idleness after school hours because of games and play centers.

Miyota said the project has improved the pass rate amongst the learners in all classes, reduced absenteeism caused by lack of food, improved attendance during the lean period, and improved talents and skills among the learners in sports and recreation, among others.

He said even though the project has registered success stories, some challenges have been experienced such as problems in securing the recommended size of land within the school campus for growing maize, soya beans, and groundnuts to sustain the feeding program.

The officer said to overcome the challenges, the project negotiated with the targeted schools to secure a piece of land that is closer to the school for easier supervision, conducting financial training on how to budget and maintain records to manage finances effectively.
“We conduct awareness meetings with community members to highlight the effectiveness of the project and help them understand its objectives,” said Muyota.

He said the project supports the school with vitameal especially when tobacco growing and hunger starts from September to April when the sales of tobacco commence at the Auction Floors saying in the second year, the communities mobilize their resources from income-generating activities for the continuity of the feeding program.

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