Kamizikurize Anastase is the Director of Groupe Scolaire de Kageyo located in Kageyo Sector, Gicumbi District in the Southern Province of Rwanda. The school has both the primary and secondary section. Anastase has been at this school as a Director since 2014. During our visit at his office, it was busy period of receiving new students for the academic year 2019.
Anastase is a happy and welcoming gentleman and very positive when he talks about the School feeding Programme in his school. He started by saying, “In this school we have an integration program where we admit both refugee as well as the host community children as children growing in the same environment
He smiles while listing the benefits of the School Feeding Programme in this school. “The School Feeding programme started at this school (G.S Kageyo) in 2018. Initially it was only being implemented in Gihembe primary school in the camp. Last year (2018), the attendance of students increased from 80% in 2017 to 93%. This increase is attributed to the hotmeal (Hotmeal (Porridge)) which is given to children at 9:45am for the morning shift and 12:45pm for the afternoon shift. Due to the hotmeal (Hotmeal (Porridge)) provided at school, there are some children that would have wished not to come to school that actually come because they are sure they will have hotmeal (Hotmeal (Porridge)) which may not be available at home”.
“As a teacher it used to be demoralizing seeing pupils dozing in class due to hunger. As a result of the hotmeal (Hotmeal (Porridge)) provided through the School Feeding Programme, we no longer see those cases. The hotmeal (Hotmeal (Porridge)) provided is nutritious and our students are healthier which enables them to concentrate in class. I would also attribute the 15% increase in children’s performance (67% in 2017 – 82% in 2018) to the School Feeding Programme”.
The dropout rate has reduced significantly from 4% before ADRA started to implement the School Feeding Programme to just 1.8% in 2018! This is a great motivation to me as Director of this school. Before this program, I would meet some of my students within the community and when I asked them why they were not in school they would tell me that it not easy to study on an empty stomach.
The teachers are very happy about the School Feeding Programme because children are now more attentive in class and the rate of absenteeism is very low now. Teachers do not need to do a lot of repetition to make up of the children who were absent mostly due to hunger related issues.
When I go through the classes during hotmeal (Hotmeal (Porridge)) time, students tell me, “We love the hotmeal (Hotmeal (Porridge)) programme it gives us energy!. Some of us leave home without taking anything for breakfast but because we get hotmeal (Hotmeal (Porridge)) at school are able to concentrate fully in class and don’t sleep because of hunger. We also enjoy the time for sharing the hotmeal (Hotmeal (Porridge)) together with our classmates.”.
Am grateful to ADRA Rwanda for this intervention and we are already seeing the fruits of the project in just one year.” (Sighing) “I wish more schools would be included in the programme. I wish that it may continue in my school because of its benefit to the school and the students in particular”.
The School Feeding Programme is a project funded by World Food Programme with the objective of retaining refugees’ children in school.
Story from ADRA Rwanda