Whether or not children are well nourished during their first years of life can have a profound effect on their health, ability to learn, to communicate, think analytically, socialise effectively and adapt to new environments and people. In poverty-stricken countries across the world, children go without healthy, balanced meals on a regular basis and often suffer from malnourishment. Many children walk long distances to school. They do not have breakfast or lunch and this makes it very difficult for them to concentrate during lessons. The long-term impact can be low academic attainment, poor physical health and lack of employment opportunities.
What Is Ecologia Doing To Help?
With support from UK Trusts including The Toy Trust, Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, and our generous donors, Ecologia has been able to offer a daily school meal and clean drinking water to all of children at Sky Is The Limit School in Uganda for the past 4 years.
The introduction of free school meals to Sky Is The Limit School means we have seen the invaluable benefits that good nutrition gives. The children have gained significant weight and they are now achieving a healthy weight/height ratio. Their academic progress has improved and they are developing social skills as they eat together. We have seen how much the children love lunch times! They have written poems, stories and songs about how much they enjoy their school meals and they really enjoy sharing them with us.
What Impact Have The Meals Had?
The lunches provided have had a hugely positive impact on the children’s academic achievements. The primary 7 class is soaring high among the East Division Fort Portal area ranking 2nd in this year’s mock exam results. There has also been an incredible improvement in the success of extra-curricular activities. Earlier in 2018, 28 schools participated in a local sporting event and Sky Is The Limit ranked 3rd in ball games and 2nd in athletics! It seems we have a lot of stars in the making there!
Desire is 12 years old and in the P7 class. Desire lives with a step mother who cannot provide him with meals. It was not unusual for him to have only one meal a day.
He likes playing football very much, but whenever he would play, he would faint. However, since we began providing him with meals at school, he can play for hours and no longer faints!
He plays very well and is on the school football team. In class he is among the best with a first grade, he is doing particularly well in mathematics. He said “If I continue taking school meals, I will improve in football and I will join a very good football team like Manchester United!”
Life changing food for all
It isn’t only the lives of the children that are improved by the free school meals, staff and families of Sky Is The Limit are benefiting as well. Since the meals started there has been a steady increase in enrolment to the school, meaning not only are more children enjoying a great education but there are more employment opportunities for teachers. Staff are also being offered annual salaried positions which enables them to provide their own families with a regular, secure income.
Sky Is The Limit is a school specifically for children who are affected directly or indirectly by HIV/AIDS. School Director Rose Mugenyi reports: “We have seen a decrease in in absence from school due to illness. Many of the children have reported a decrease in becoming victim to opportunistic infections due to the lowering of the immune system.”
There are so many positive and vital benefits of having a delicious and balanced, healthy meal every day. We are delighted that we can help provide this to some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Ecologia cannot thank our supporters like Thomas Cook Children’s Charity and The Toy Trust enough for their help.
You can keep feeding children like those at Sky Is The Limit School by making a donation today. It costs just £38 a year to give a child a daily school meal, less than 20p per day. So any amount will go a long way to helping these young people reach their dreams.