Makuyuni School Lunch Program
Daily school lunches for students at the Makuyuni Primary School
HOP has been supporting the school since 2016, when Dean first sat down with the headmaster to ask what they struggled with most. He found out that their biggest 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 all of the school’s 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 around 700 students, and now we’re feeding approximately 1200 kids daily. Teachers also continue to notice substantial improvement in student test scores.
Structural progress at Makuyuni Primary School includes the completion of water lines to a 5000 liter water tank that now provides fresh water for cleaning. Previously, there was no water source at the school. An especially important goal within a pandemic, to allow students to wash their hands throughout the day. There is now a wash basin next to every classroom, regularly refilled with soap. Plus, the runoff water from the wash area feeds a large garden in a field behind the kitchen, which supplements the rice and corn diet with more nutrients.
Moving full steam ahead, we completed the new dining pavilion at Makuyuni School, so the students can eat lunch, sheltered from the hot sun during the dry season, and the heavy rain during the rainy season. The construction not only benefits the school, but also kept local construction workers employed during the pandemic (some have worked with HOP and KKC since 2007!). The dining pavilion will also serve as a central meeting place for the school and the community for years to come.
Each year in June, Tanzania’s crops go to harvest. We buy a year’s supply of food in June while the prices are at their lowest, knowing that food costs will continue to rise as the year goes on. In June, we budgeted and spent $26,000 on a year’s supply of food to store for the upcoming year, and will be able to successfully provide a hot lunch for the Makuyuni school, the children and staff for the next year. This is especially important now, as many of these families in Tanzania will struggle to provide food for their families in the upcoming year.