Food for Thought

February 24, 2014 • Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Joys of school feeding in Faradje
Children like these in Faradje, Democratic Republic of Congo, have trouble staying in school because of their hunger.

Samaritan's Purse is helping children in the Democratic Republic of Congo stay in school by feeding them during the day.

Noah Obatsa is the program manager for school feeding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Many children in Faradje leave home in the morning to go to school without having anything to eat. Because of widespread poverty, these children rarely receive adequate nutrition at home.

While at school, the children are expected to be attentive, but the rumbling in their stomachs often distracts them. It keeps them from learning, so they just drop out.

To mitigate this problem, Samaritan’s Purse is partnering with World Food Programme to distribute food to about 20 percent of the schools in Faradje. We begin the day at devotions and immediately head out to make sure that the children are well-fed and that they are eating on time. Our staff must also make sure the schools are stocked with food supplies and that the records are accurately kept.

The Joys of school feeding in Faradje

With the promise of a meal, children in Faradje are attending school more regularly.

Some staff members must ride motorbikes to these rural areas, sometimes covering up to 55 miles one way. In the rainy season, the roads are almost impassable. But our teams keep working, knowing that lives are being transformed and destinies shaped. We receive reports from the schools of improved grades, regular attendance, and parents in close collaboration with the school management committees to enhance their children’s performance.

It is a great joy to see young boys and girls smiling with a guarantee of the day’s meal. The Samaritan’s Purse staff members in Faradje are encouraged to know that someone’s life has been changed and at least one pupil is in class today because of the school-feeding program.