Hot meals help Haitian children recover from the earthquake-a global problem

It’s 11 o’clock in the morning Notre Dame de Paris, A school located in the small town of Lady Mary in the western peninsula of southern Haiti. It was a bit late for two volunteer chefs to prepare today’s meals for 307 school children.

There are black beans on the menu, and the cooking time is a little longer than usual. Put the wheat berries, vegetable oil, green onions and chili in two steaming pots.

Despite the name of the school, students here, whether boys or girls, benefit from the World Food Program’s school feeding program, which aims to provide at least one cooked meal a day for the most vulnerable children.

School principal Franesie Sylvestre said that for many of these children, “this is the only meal they eat today.”

The town of Dame Marie was affected by the earthquake, but apart from some cracks in the walls of the building and collapsed gates, the school was basically unharmed.

Banana leaves cover two bowls of beans and wheat and provide school meals for more than 300 children.

United Nations Haiti/Daniel Dickinson

Banana leaves cover two bowls of beans and wheat and provide school meals for more than 300 children.

Earthquake impact

The parents of these children have the greatest impact. Many of them lost their farms or missed the planting season due to the earthquake.

“They can no longer grow food,” said Principal Sylvester, “so they can’t feed their children properly. That’s why this school feeding program is so important. This will give the children the motivation to continue learning and provide them with Provide support to our parents. In the long run, this is good for our community.”

The school meal plan was implemented before the earthquake in southwest Haiti on August 14 that killed more than 2,200 people; another 12,700 people were injured, and key infrastructure such as bridges, roads, hospitals and schools were destroyed or damaged.

This school is just one of more than 1,600 schools World Food Program Meals are being provided for approximately 344,000 students. In most schools, the focus of the program is not just to provide meals for hungry children.

Overall analysis

A small sink made of buckets stands on the platform outside each classroom. They are installed by UNICEF, UNICEFTo ensure that children develop good hygiene habits such as washing hands before meals.

A child washes his hands before eating school meals.

A child washes his hands before eating school meals. , United Nations Haiti/Daniel Dickinson

UNICEF also provides books for learning French, mathematics and other subjects, as well as desks for students to study comfortably.

“We have to take a holistic approach,” said Maguelita Varin of the World Food Program, “because if children don’t wash their hands and eat, they will get sick. If they don’t have books, they won’t be able to learn even if they eat well.”

The WFP’s school feeding program is planning to expand to provide nearly 40,000 children in 190 schools in the three provinces affected by the earthquake with meals cooked with locally grown agricultural products.

The United Nations International Labor Organization is seeking to support farmers in the wider cultivation of breadfruit, which is a nutritious and multifunctional food. It is hoped that breadfruit will become the main ingredient in school meals, and this development will in turn support the local economy.

“This method helps maintain the local economy and will encourage farmers to plant more crops,” Magrita said. “Ultimately, it will help communities better recover and increase their resilience to future shocks.”

At Notre Dame de Paris, the food is ready, and the students patiently line up to wash their hands before joining the hot meal queue. For many people, this is their first meal of the day, and some people seem hungry.

Children line up to receive free school meals provided by the World Food Program.

United Nations Haiti/Daniel Dickinson

Children line up to receive free school meals provided by the World Food Program.

Back at the desk, they enthusiastically and generously enjoyed beans and wheat. They are too focused on eating and don’t have time to chat. The teachers know that they will eat well and focus on the next lesson.

The World Food Program’s school feeding program in Haiti benefited 344,000 school children this year and was funded by Canada, Education Can’t Wait, France, Switzerland and the United States Department of Agriculture. (United States Department of Agriculture)

The Ecole Nationale des Filles de Dame Marie project is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. Thanks to funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, nearly 100,000 school children across Haiti have been helped.


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