Makuyuni and Embukoi School Lunch Programs
Daily school lunches for students at the Makuyuni and Embukoi Primary Schools
HOP has supported the Makuyuni Primary School since 2016, when Dean first sat down with the headmaster to ask what they struggled with most. He found out that their greatest need wasn’t textbooks, and it wasn’t more teachers. It was simply food. Kids were missing school because they didn’t have enough to eat. Those who did attend were often unfocused and lethargic from hunger.
HOP purchased cooking supplies and food to feed the school children lunch every day for the school year. We also hired two full-time cooks to prepare the lunches every day. School attendance at the beginning of this program wavered at around 700 students, and now feeds approximately 1200 kids daily. Teachers also continue to notice a substantial improvement in student test scores.
Our success in this program inspired us to start a second program at the Embukoi Primary School. We have seen the same upward trend in attendance and achievement since the enaction of our second lunch program and are eager to expand the project to the scale of Makuyuni.
Some of the structural achievements we have made at the Makuyuni Primary School are the installation of water lines and two 5,000-liter water tanks that provide clean washing water for students and food preparation. There is also a water basin next to each classroom that is regularly stocked with soap for students and staff to utilize. We have also begun collecting runoff water from the wash areas to feed our gardens in the field behind the kitchen, which supplements the rice and corn with nutrients.
We have also successfully completed construction on the dining pavilion at Makuyuni School, so students have a sheltered space to eat lunch. Not only does this structure benefit the school, but the entire community can also utilize this area to socialize and come together for years. This project also provided jobs to members of the local community, some of whom have worked with HOP and KKC since 2007!
As we continue to grow our lunch programs, we hope to build the Embukoi Primary School Program to reflect Makuyuni. We hope to do this through a runoff water collection system, water lines and wash basins, and an expanded kitchen area. We are proud to announce the completion of a new dining pavilion that will offer protection from Tanzanian weather for years to come.
Each year in June, we buy a year’s supply of food for each lunch program. We make our purchases when we know costs are at their lowest. Doing this allows us to provide a hot lunch for every student within our programs and the staff at both schools for an entire year without creating an overwhelming budget. As Tanzanian families recover following a troubling COVID economy, these lunch programs are especially important now.
In continuing to support the Makuyuni School, we plan to construct a new building for a computer center (as we did in Peru and Nepal). This will allow the students more access to educational tools, books, and technical skills that will increase their opportunities.