Giving Compass' Take:

• The 4K Club in rural Machakos, Kenya, is a student-led group that is working to grow a diverse food system in its school garden and commit to a planetary health diet. 

• How can donors help support young people in Kenya have access to food and nutrition education? 

• Read more about how Kenya is trying to educate its young people on healthier eating. 


This month, the EAT-Lancet report made global headlines, calling for a drastic transformation of diets and food production. The report's authors recommend "the planetary health diet" which, among other things, urges us to double consumption of fruits, vegetables, pulses and nuts.

This is old news for the 4K club ("Kuungana, Kufanya, Kusaidia Kenya" in Swahili, meaning 'Coming together, to Act, to Help Kenya) in rural Machakos, about 100 kilometres southeast of Nairobi.

Here, 50 students have been working hard to grow a diverse food system in their school garden. With the help of agroforestry researchers, a green-fingered teacher committee and a local NGO, the barren plot behind their school was carefully divided up to plant climate-adapted, nutritious fruit, vegetable and pulses.

Here, 50 students have been working hard to grow a diverse food system in their school garden. With the help of agroforestry researchers, a green-fingered teacher committee and a local NGO, the barren plot behind their school was carefully divided up to plant climate-adapted, nutritious fruit, vegetable and pulses.

The students also sow folate and protein-rich pulses such as cowpea, whose leaves are a valuable source of vitamins, iron and folate. These are used in school meals, and the club participants take home saplings and seeds to plant on their home farms.

Serious deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals (known as hidden hunger) are rife in sub-Saharan Africa. Children are the first to suffer, and far too many will never reach their full physical and mental potential.

The student clubs, set up at several schools in the country, not only educate youth on the need for diet diversity, but also link to surrounding farmers who visit the schools as demonstration sites to see how the approach has worked.

Read the full article about Kenyan students' plant diet by  Alina Paul-Bossuet at Global Citizen