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3 ways we’re keeping families nourished in Sierra Leone

These primary school students enjoy a hot meal every day at school.

These primary school students enjoy a hot meal every day at school.

Nothing beats a hot meal after a long journey to school and a morning filled with classes. Or a home-cooked meal after a long day of work. It’s the fuel that keeps us going.

But it’s hard to learn on an empty stomach. And hunger pangs are no match for an effective workday. With no promise of food, priorities begin to shift. Children miss out on school and parents lack the strength to provide for their families.

Providing food for change

In Sierra Leone, with support from the World Food Programme, Plan Canada is improving the lives of children and entire communities thanks to innovative projects that put proper nutrition on the agenda. Here’s 3 ways we’re keeping families nourished in Sierra Leone:

1. School feeding for tots

Now when primary school students get to school, they’ll have a hot meal waiting for them. In fact, the school feeding program has reached over 155,500 children in communities across Sierra Leone, allowing these youngsters to reach their full potential in class.

The project affects parents, too. The promise of a hot meal is motivating parents to send their young children to school. Instead of keeping their tots at home to help with chores, parents can feel confident that their children are receiving a healthy meal and a rewarding education at the same time.

2. Supplementary feeding for all

When times get tough, nutritious food isn’t always available. But through Plan’s supplementary feeding programs, malnourished children under 5 and at risk individuals are getting the proper nutrients they need to thrive. To date, over 11,600 children and families have benefited from the supplementary feeding programs.

In communities across Sierra Leone, Food Management Committees have been established to help distribute the food to those in need. On top of that, committee members refer malnourished children to health clinics to ensure they get the special care they need.

Keeping children properly nourished through school feeding programs will help their brains and bodies develop.

Keeping children properly nourished through school feeding programs will help their brains and bodies develop.

3. Food-for-work initiatives motivating the masses

Last, but certainly not least, 20,800 people have benefited from food-for-work programs across Sierra Leone. That means Plan has employed over 5,500 people to help with community projects, like road improvements and land rehabilitation projects. In exchange for their labour, they will receive enough food to keep their families fed.

Yes, food-for-work programs like these keep people healthy but they also help motivate people to get involved in their communities’ development. It’s a win-win situation!

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Health & nutrition
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