Group of children playing

Feeding Program

For Those Who Need it Most

The brain needs food to learn. With the help of iThemba, Baraa Primary School is emphasising the importance of a good and healthy meal.

We know many difficult problems the pupils of Baraa Primary School encounter in their daily life, so we have established a feeding program for those who need it most.

The feeding program reaches out to orphans, malnourished pupils, pupils with a severe health condition or those from particularly disadvantaged backgrounds. We define orphans as children who either lost both parents or only one. In Tanzania, single parent families struggle really hard to get enough income to provide for their children. For these pupils, iThemba will cover the costs of an education and porridge or lunch.

The pupils who are part of the feeding program is made up after they have been diagnosed via our Health Program with malnutrition, HIV or AIDS or another severe health condition and after a careful analysis of the pupils’ home and family situation via our Outreach Program.

In 2017 we intend to feed every pupil at Baraa Primary School. For whatever reason few parents pay their childs food at school and iThemba feels feeding all the children is essential. To support this programme and ensure every child gets food you can be part of the Feeding program.

Malnutrition

More than 350 pupils suffer

Malnutrition is priority number one in our feeding program.

There are several categories of malnutrition. There is acute malnutrition that is called wasting. These are children who have a normal height for age, but are very skinny and hungry. Then there is chronic malnutrition which is called stunting. These are children who have a normal BMI (Body Mass Index) but they are too small for their age, which makes them look younger than they really are. The last category is called a mixed malnutrition whereby the children are very small and underweight.

In Baraa Primary School, we see children who have been underfed since they were born, so they are chronically malnourished. Because they are used to being malnourished, they don’t even feel the hunger anymore. They don’t complain about food, have normal BMI, but they are children who look like they are 8 years old, but they are really 14 years or older.In 2016 iThemba will feed all pupils who have been diagnosed as suffering from malnutrition.

To measure if a child is malnourished, there is a technique based on the size of the left upper arm. This technique is called the MUAC technique (Mid-Upper Arm Circumference) used by the World Health Organization of the UN. This is an indicator for acute malnutrition or mixed malnutrition. This years’ results showed that Baraa Primary School has around 250 malnourished children in the following categories:

If the child appears in the yellow category, there is a severe risk for the child to become severe acute malnourished. In fact the child is already underweight, but we don’t define it yet as severe malnutrition.

If the child appears in the red category, it is called severe acute malnutrition

If the child appears in the green category, there is no acute malnutrition. However, this doesn’t mean there is no chronic malnutrition. It is important to note that a child can have a normal arm circumference for his age group, but still can be severely too small in height.

If you would like to help ensure that our pupils receive at least one healthy meal a day please visit our donations page.