Fiona Kiker from Andando, an Oregon-based nonprofit organization, recently returned from a visit to Keur Soce, Senegal where she was checking in on the progress of their project.
A portion of the $75,000 grant awarded by Vibrant Village Foundation has been used to make much needed improvements to a local elementary school, which educates approximately 460 students. Since October, the electrification of the school has been completed, the classroom floors and chalkboards have been repaired, the classrooms were painted and the breakfast program was implemented.
As Fiona reports, the learning environment is already much improved as a result of these projects. Here she shares more about the school breakfast program, which is run by volunteers in the community.
“Each day three to five women volunteer (different ones each day) to prepare the cereal for nearly 400 children. The cereal is made from locally sourced ingredients; beans, corn, rice, millet and peanuts. Everything is dry roasted then ground together into a fine powder. First they mix the powder by hand with tepid water to form a smooth paste. Then they add the paste to hot water, stir a few minutes and it's ready. Kids from each class bring a bucket full of the hot cereal to their room where it is portioned out and served to the kids and any visitors who might be there that day!"
"We like this project because it has improved school attendance and is bringing in many new parent volunteers. In the longer term, we are confident that this simple nutritious breakfast will translate into healthier kids and better academic results.”