Giving Compass’ Take:
• Activist Wawira Njiru started Food for Education in Kenya, an organization that provides food for children throughout the school day so that they can better focus.
• What are the main challenges for students in Kenya in getting food from schools directly?
• Read more about why nutritious food is the key to academic success.
Wawira Njiru witnessed two different versions of Kenya during her childhood. The first version, of which she was a part, featured relative comfort, plenty of meals, access to health care, and good education.
The second version generally involved the opposite and she witnessed it all around her as she grew up.
Now Njiru is working to end the disparities between the different worlds through Food for Education, the simply named school lunch organization that provides subsidized and highly nutritious meals to schools around the country.
In Kenya, more than 36.7% of the population lives in extreme poverty, on less than a $1.90 per day.
Njiru noticed that children were often the most affected by poverty. Throughout the country, more than 29% of children in rural areas and 20% in urban areas suffer from malnutrition, which often causes stunting, or lifelong physical and mental deficiencies. More than 23 million Kenyan children go to school hungry every day and 51% of the country is food insecure.
She realized that a lack of food and nutrition made learning in the classroom difficult, which creates a profoundly unequal education system, and that addressing this gap could vastly improve educational outcomes.
“A hungry child can’t learn,” she told Global Citizen. ”When they’re not able to get the right nutrition, they’re not able to concentrate, they become irritable.”
When she went to the University of South Australia, she majored in food sciences and deepened her understanding of the link between food and education. Afterwards, she returned to Kenya and decided to work on closing the educational gap in the country by making sure kids had enough to eat.
That’s when she started Food for Education, which has served 400,000 meals to date, and currently provides food to 2,000 students per day.
Read the full article about Food for Education by Joe McCarthy at Global Citizen
Since you are interested in Poverty, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Poverty?
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