It has always been our vision to develop a model that can work in other communities. We have previously held back from rolling out the model as we wanted to be convinced that the model would work.
Since December 2021, and for five school terms, the parents and community have provided everything needed to provide daily breakfasts and lunches at Mukinyai Primary School. All this without any input from Feeding Futures. In January 2023 we found:-
The silo was FULL and held around 5 tonnes of maize – enough to supply the kitchen with maize for at least the next two terms.
Enrolment and attendance had increased: The Deputy Head stated “The pupils have a positive attitude towards coming to school because they know they will get breakfast and also lunch. Pupils have that motivation and are available in class all the time.”
The mean examscores improved from 191 in 2017 rising to 232 in 2022!
Staff recruitment: Previously, due to poor results and conditions, new recruits would start and immediately request County for a transfer. Now they are happy to be part of the school to the point of four teachers being so impressed that they have transferred their own children to join the school.
Teacher Satisfaction: The Chair of Governors (CoG) commented, “The teachers are also more motivated. We only have money to pay one cook now but teachers help one another, along with pupils, to make sure the meal is prepared for the following day. They have such a positive attitude towards the meals programme and they are encouraged with the impact on education. There is partnership between all members of the school community – the cook, teachers, pupils and parents.”
Parents engagement: The difference in attitude of parents from before working with Feeding Futures is remarkable. The Chair of the Board is also the Chair of the Board of another local school. He says, “There is no comparison between the parents of the two schools. Comparing these two schools, Mukinyai is so far ahead. 1. Mukinyai parents turn up for meetings when called, whereas the other school meetings have very few parents. 2. When Mukinyai parents are asked to contribute towards exam costs or other initiatives, they understand and they agree. They are very supportive.”
Discipline improved: Teachers assess there are a number of reasons for this:
Pupils are motivated to attend school willingly, due to the food they find there;
Pupils are well fed and able to concentrate in class and behave well;
Teachers spend more time with pupils in class, at lunch and in the school shamba. This leads teachers to understand pupils’ individual circumstances and to focus more on counselling than discipline if there are issues at home.
Wider Community: The numerous pastors are significant influencers and have continued to engage and help the community. When we arrived, pastors were very separate and “had never even had a cup of tea together”. We brought them together resulting in the formation of a pastors group. They now inform their congregations about Feeding Futures meetings and encourage involvement. As a group they have also contributed to the kitchen supplies directly, which has been a great sign of support and partnership.
“This impact is beyond our hopes and it is time to expand to other schools. For this we obviously need a huge uplift in income.”