Today is International Literacy Day, and at Stop Hunger Now, we have seen firsthand that access to a quality education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and ending hunger worldwide. In 2015, nearly 53% of Stop Hunger Now meals were distributed to schools around the globe.
For many students at the schools we serve, Stop Hunger Now meals are the only food they have access to on a regular basis. These meals attract children to schools and prevent dropouts while alleviating short-term hunger and enabling children to learn. Girls, especially, are more likely to attend school when food is present.
Mamisoa, age 12, attends primary school in the village of Talata, Madagascar. Talata is an impoverished rural village that relies almost completely on farming. Before Mamisoa began attending Talata Andramanonga Primary School, his father struggled to earn enough money to meet the family’s needs, and he ate just a small serving of rice each day. With the help of ADRA Madagascar, a partner organization that implements food security, health, education and relief projects across Madagascar, Mamisoa and his classmates receive Stop Hunger Now meals at school.
“This school feeding project from Stop Hunger Now through ADRA Madagascar is a very big push for us, our school children and their parents,” says Balandine Ramihajamanana, principal of the Primary School. “The presence of the project encourages parents to educate their children and supports them in spending less. The school children become more dynamic and active in class and the absenteeism rate has decreased significantly.”
Shalom Laïson, Programs Director of ADRA, shared, “ADRA Madagascar is really interested in continuing a partnership with Stop Hunger Now and extend it to new schools, enabling more kids to have food in schools thus increasing attendance and success rate. Poverty is a reality here in Madagascar, and this program is such a blessing to all the beneficiaries across the schools.”
ADRA Madagascar plans to target more schools in the future, expanding the reach of Stop Hunger Now’s school nutrition program and supporting more families across the country.
Laïson says, “ADRA Madagascar is working through several projects to reduce malnutrition and food insecurity in the country and Stop Hunger Now helps to achieve this goal in the schools, among the kids who are the most vulnerable.”