A very important meal
by Stephanie Mutert, Trip Manager
Imagine two classrooms. The first has a teacher standing at the front at a brown chalk board writing out the day’s lesson that the students need to copy into their notebooks. The students are in their school uniforms: boys with their slacks and shirts with colors and the girls in their skirts and dresses with their hair done using colorful ribbons and barrettes. Despite this colorful scene, several students are asleep at their desks, and others are at varying degrees of the same posture. Few students are attentive, and several do not have anything written into their notebooks for the day. Despite the teacher’s best efforts, the lethargy in the room is daunting. Frustration is rising. Learning is waning.
Consider the second classroom where students are dressed just as the first, but energy is found in many voices answering questions and students writing down the days’ lesson. Perhaps there is even the class clown acting up and getting in trouble for distracting his fellow classmates. Most students show visible respect for their teacher. They are excited to be there, as they know, with the lack of public education in their country, it is hard for many families to send their children to private school.
This disparity between these two classrooms in Haiti, and in many places around the world, is heartbreakingly common. What’s the difference between attentiveness and apathy, energy and lethargy? Sometimes it is as simple as providing a meal during the school day.
In partnership with GO Project, Source de la Grace School (SDLG) in Croix Des Bouquets, Haiti, launched its school lunch program last month. Each school day at 10:45 am, 290 students and 15 teachers/staff enjoy a hot meal together. This simple meal consists of rice, beans, corn and sauce. Starting in April, it will also include a vitamin supplement powder called Phytoblend, courtesy of our friends at MannaRelief.
Of the 290 students at the schools, 119 were previously orphaned or abandoned and live in the care of a local church. For them, this school lunch will act as one of their three meals of the day. For the other 171 students that live in the local community, the school lunch program may be their only meal of the day.
“Many of the kids that come to school don’t really have enough food to eat at home. This is a blessing to them to have the hot meal at school,” said Pierrre Reynald Charles, GO Haiti staff.
After a month of eating a meal during the day at school, Principal Wilgens shares that the students are more motivated than before, and all the staff are excited to see how the students continue to improve over the next few months.
We are pleased to partner with our friends at SDLG in order to provide a lunch program, help families in the community, and help children learn more effectively at school. We hope to offer this school lunch program to other partnerships within Haiti and are currently looking for sponsors to help. To partner with GO Project to sponsor a school lunch program email us here>>. Learn more about school sponsorships here>>