By Theophilus Chuma
SCHOOL children in urban areas will benefit from the supplementary school feeding initiative under a programme intensified by the First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa.
Donhodzo….. Literally translated to…a source of relief and comfort…these children have every reason to be happy as they dance their way to get their daily ration that has become an important incentive to keep them in school.
Today though, the meal is different as it has been specially prepared by the mother of the nation to cater for over five hundred pupils from and around Mabvuku.
The feeding initiative launched at Donnybrook Primary school in Harare’s Mabvuku surburb this Saturday, marks the beginning of an intense focus on urban learners, as the First Lady extends the social protection net.
“This is a programme we are also taking on board the urban areas because hunger has affected everyone. As you remember I had a similar programme in Bulawayo and I am now moving into urban schools. As a mother I am there to unite everyone,” she said.
With statistics showing that a sizeable number of urban families are food insecure due to the drought situation experienced last season, the First Lady’s initiative is also critical in guarding against malnutrition, hence her call for enhanced support and unity towards the success of the initiative.
For these children, such programmes have been important in boosting their attendance and performance in school, with revelations that more urban schools will benefit.
Acting Harare Mayor, Councillor Stewart Mtizwa weighed in with support for the First Lady’s initiative.
The initiative by the First Lady through the Angel of Hope Foundation builds on the government and regional thrust that promotes the nutrition of school children as well as fight hunger within the education sector.
At a national level, notable strides have been recorded in the school feeding programme since it’s implementation through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
To sustain this initiative, the First Lady extended a consignment of nutritional commodities to support ten schools within Mabvuku District, as she encouraged institutions to embark on self-sustaining programmes.
Five hundred vulnerable families were also cushioned with basic essentials and commodities.