“I used not to understand the teacher very well in class. I couldn’t concentrate because I was always feeling hungry. I really wanted to be more active in class but the hunger couldn’t let me.” These are the words of Patricia Abaru when asked about how she felt previously.
“Nowadays I put up my hand in class more often because I can understand what is being taught. Even when I am not sure I ask for the teachers help. I like my teacher and I when I am older I would like to be just like her.” Patricias dream is to become a teacher, so she can teach younger children and give them nice markings like her teacher Jennifer.
When we turn to ask Patricia’s parents their thoughts on putting Patricia on the program, they laugh and her father begins to point out the differences to us.
“You see that jerrycan there,” he says as he points to a 5 litre jerrycan lying in the compound, “my daughter always wanted to help her siblings when they went to fetch water but she couldn’t carry it. But right now, she lifts two of them at once and she is happy to do it because she loves to help a lot.”
“Her handwriting has also improved tremendously. There’s a difference in writing in first term and this term, and I strongly believe it’s because of this project,” the mother intervenes. She then asks Patricia to bring her books from the previous term for us to compare. When we look at the books, there is a vivid change in handwriting and its all attributed to the school feeding program which has made Patricia more vibrant.
“I have no doubt that my daughter’s health has improved for the better. I can also see it. She was always weak and unhappy and we didn’t know what to do to help her. We actually didn’t realize that her low concentration in class came from poor feeding, but now that we have been educated, we have started planting more vegetables to boost her health. We are glad that this program came in time to help us see what we needed to do to improve our daughter’s well-being,” her father remarks.
As we continue to marvel at the great improvement in handwriting we feel Patricia is a step closer to realizing her dream of becoming a teacher, all thanks to the school feeding project that has made her stronger and more active.