Feeding Program Boosts Child Education in Blantyre
The feeding program boosted enrollment by providing over 1500 children nutritious porridge and ECD services.
Blantyre, Malawi-A feeding program at Mwandika community-based care centre is receiving praise for its significant impact on early childhood development (ECD) education in the Group Mpagaja communities of Blantyre district, writes Thokozani Beaton.
Established in 2011 by the Joshua Orphan and Community Care organization, the centre offers essential services, including early childhood development education and nutrition support, to the children of Mwandika, Nkoka, and Manyenje communities.
The feeding program has played a vital role in boosting children's enrollment at the centre. Since its inception in the area, the program has provided over 1500 children with nutritious support in the form of porridge and ECD services.
Patricia Petulo, a resident of Mwandika Village, whose child is enrolled at the care centre, has lauded the remarkable benefits of the feeding project. This initiative has made a significant impact on children in Mwandika and nearby villages.
She emphasized how the program has helped children in the community access ECD services without difficulties while also combating malnutrition caused by hunger and poverty in many households.
"As a parent, I appreciate the support our children receive from the care centre, such as the feeding program, which offers porridge to our children. This project has promoted good health among our children here and provided a solution to the lack of adequate meals in our households."
"This feeding program has also enabled many children to access early childhood development education, which is a crucial foundation for their future," she said.
Patuma Witness, a caregiver at the institution, emphasized the positive impact the program has had on learning activities at the centre.
She mentioned that the exercise has improved children's participation in educational routines and has boosted their attentiveness.
"There is always a good turnout of children participating in class sessions when a meal is available, and it improves a child's attention to lessons," she observed, noting that on days when the centre does not have food, the number of attendees drops.
Steven Falamenga, a representative of Chief Mwandika, expressed satisfaction with the progress at the centre. He explained that many children in the community have been able to access ECD services without significant challenges.
"We thank Joshua Orphan and Community Care for the support they are providing to our community. Through their projects, our children have received essential services, and the community has greatly benefited from Joshua's remarkable initiatives here," he said.
Gladys Amini, an overseer of Mwandika care centre, revealed that Joshua Orphan and Community Care became involved after recognizing the community's passion for ECD.
Seeing the community's efforts in early childhood development education, Joshua's team decided to assist the people of Mwandika by constructing a better learning structure and initiating a feeding program.
However, she noted that even with assistance from Joshua Orphan and Community Care, the centre requires more support for its operations.