Sep 12, 2012, 9:48 AM
As part of World Food Programme's (WFP) essential package to provide kitchens and stores for schools benefiting from the school feeding programme, WFP, in partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, supported by Thomas Nationwide Transport (TNT) on Monday 29th June and 30th June 2010 inaugurated three kitchens and three stores, respectively in the region of Upper River Region .
Speaking at the inauguration ceremonies held at the various school grounds, Mr. Patrick Teixeira of WFP revealed that WFP is working closely with schools through the ministry to ensure that school-going children are sent and retained in school.
According to Mr. Teixeira, WFP is supporting school feeding programme in over five hundreds schools across the country for years. He noted that WFP does not only provide food for schools, but also go further to provide kitchens and stores for its benefiting schools across the country, through its "ESSENTIAL PACKAGE".
He spoke at length on the importance his agency attaches to kitchens and stores, noting that 'healthy food breed healthy body and healthy mind, and if there are no proper kitchens to prepare food it will be very difficult to get good and healthy food.'
To him, WFP is very much environmental conscious, and as a result the newly built kitchens consume less fire woods.
While thanking all those who participated in making these structures a reality, he urged the beneficiaries to take good care of the structures, so that it can serve long. As he put it, they are very expensive.
For his part, Mr. Addison Gomez, who spoke on behalf of the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education stated that the gesture is timely as the rainy season has just started. He noted that it would go a long way towards solving cooking constraints in schools.
Madam Mrs. Claudiana A. Cole, the Regional Education for Director Region 6, stated that studies have shown that school feeding programme improves enrolment and retention of children in schools as well as create conducive teaching and learning environment for both teachers and students. She noted that Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction could better be realised if children are educated.
She commended WFP for the gesture, adding that the school management committees with the communities support Parents Teachers Association, Mothers Clubs and Food Management Committees. The newly inaugurated kitchens and stores within her region would be surely taken care of, she assured WFP.
Mr. Karafa Kanteh, the Head Master of Gunjur Lower Basic School added that since he inherited the school early this year, he has been working hand-in-glove with the community. He noted that with the cooperation of the community the kitchen will serve its rightful purposes.
Sheik Sowe, the Head Master of Touba Woppa Lower Basic School commended WFP for their continuous support, adding that the school and the community are grateful.
Mr. Pateh Jallow, the Head Master of Suduwol Basic Cycle said his school has received support from the government and its development partners. Among them were 101 bicycles from Jolly Riders, staff quarters, bore hole and now a kitchen and a store. According to him, the current enrolment of the school is 385, and there are more children in the community that are of school-going age.
Among other speakers were Alh. Bachily Jaburaga, SMC's Chairman, Aja Hoja Drammeh and President of Mother Club in Suduwol, all of whom expressed similar sentiments.