Fred, Agricultural Expert for a little bit of HOPE (Uganda), tells the story of one pupil whose life has been radically impacted by the presence of a school farm at her school.
Gloria is 14 years old and she is in Class 6 atMugulu Integrated Primary School.
She walks 2 kilometres to school every morning.
Previously she used to walk home every day at lunch time. She would rush home to prepare lunch because her parents both work during the day. Gloria then had to walk back to school after preparing and serving lunch at home. With her work in the kitchen, she was often late for lessons and would sometimes even miss tests. If she had to be in class early for afternoon lessons, she would have to miss lunch but hunger meant she often dozed off in class. All this had greatly affected her general performance and she started getting bad reports.
Since Gloria started receiving school lunches she says that her life has changed: she can now stay at school, turn up for afternoon lessons on time, and is able to understand what is being taught. She no longer gets in trouble for arriving late for afternoon lessons. Gloria no longer walks that long 2 kilometre distance for lunch, so when lunch time reaches she is always expectant and happy! In her words she said that ”I can now concentrate in class because I don’t doze while in class and I understand what they teach very well, unlike before the school farm existed. My performance has gone up as I am doing well in my monthly tests and if I continue eating at school I will perform so well in my final exams of primary school.’’
When I asked her about how good the meals were, she said ”They are very good and all pupils at school are happily eating.”
She ended her story by thanking me, her headmaster and teachers at school for enabling them to cultivate their own food in their school farm. She also thanked us for enabling a cook to prepare lunch for them, as her fellow pupils no longer have to walk back home or to trading centres looking for food. They can stay at school and have lunch made for them there.
If you would like to give more children like Gloria the chance to eat at school, you can support our School Farm projects here.