Malnutrition is a global issue, despite it being largely preventable and manageable. As part of our AYMES Give Pledge, we are delighted to announce that this Christmas, we will be sponsoring Tanzanian children on a food programme which is designed to address hunger and malnutrition.
AYMES are proud to be supporting children at Baraa Primary school (a free government school) in Arusha, Tanzania who have been identified as being nutritionally vulnerable or who have HIV. The children will receive a free school meal and fruit every day for the next year. The food programme is made possible by a charitable organisation called iThemba, who have sponsored Baraa since 2009, providing teaching staff and fundraising to develop facilities, including a new kitchen with running water, which was built in the last year.
Karly Hoggard from Interface Clinical Services (a corporate partner of AYMES) is currently volunteering with iThemba and reached out to AYMES for support. She says: “I am volunteering here in a healthcare capacity. My main role has been to complete the annual nutritional assessments of the school children. This involves weighing and measuring the height of all school children to identify those who are malnourished or stunted. Of 2,028 students we were able to assess 1,783, and found 70 students who were malnourished or stunted.”
A child at Baraa participating in the annual nutritional assessment.
The sponsorship money from AYMES will support the children that Karly has identified as nutritionally vulnerable as well as those with HIV. She says: “Sadly, many children come from impoverished backgrounds where money and food is scarce. They often come to school without breakfast having already done physically exhausting jobs around the house first. Some children will walk over an hour to get to school and do so from about 3 years old, so by the time they get to school they are so hungry that they cannot focus on lessons.”
The mother of Abdulkarim, one of the children identified for AYMES sponsorship, says her 14-year-old tells her: “How can I do a full day of learning when I don’t have a full stomach?” The sponsorship from AYMES will provide children like Abdulkarim with a balanced and nutritious meal, fuelling them through a busy day of learning.
One of the ‘mamas’ cooking for the students and staff at Baraa.
Karly tells us: “The main struggles are lack of budget and resources as well as the practicalities of just two mamas cooking food for 700 students and staff.” She is working with the school to make suggestions for improving the diet and growth status of the children while staying within budget. Karly has identified that the children’s diets are generally deficient in protein, fats, and calcium, and is working to rectify this by working with members of the local community to source food that is nutritionally dense but will be accepted by the children.
Karly has met a local farmer who she hopes to use for milk provision to increase dietary calcium intake as well as developing partnership which will enable the children to visit and learn about farming and food production. Daga will also be introduced into the menu; these are dried sardines which are readily available and high in omegas and protein. Aside from beans and pulses, vegetables are lacking in the school diet, so Karly plans to work with a horticulturist to help the school to grow their own vegetables.
A local farmer who is providing dairy products to be incorporated into the school diet.
Roger Wertheim-AYMES, Founder of AYMES says: “We are honoured to be able to support this important initiative and contribute to the vital work that Karly and iThemba are doing to support the children of Baraa. We wish them the best of luck in the months to come.”
Speaking of the financial sponsorship from AYMES, Karly concludes by saying: “The support from AYMES is much appreciated and will have an immense impact on these children’s lives.” To find out more, or to donate, visit: https://www.ithemba.be/