School lunches - the new success story in Jos
Only those who consume enough vitamins and minerals are able to learn efficiently
Healthy, balanced school meals not only improve concentration span and the children's ability to absorb information but also encourage the children to develop a sense of community spirit. For this very reason, school meals, consumed communally in the school dining room, were integrated into the school day at the Amina Zwindila Foundation School - and, with a great deal of success.
Not every child is privileged enough to start the school day with a good breakfast - and certainly not children in Nigeria, a country where increasing numbers of people live in abject poverty. Those responsible for the Amina Zwindila Foundation School in Jos also had to experience this reality.
Increase concentration span with a balanced diet
Once parents began to detect a drop in performance during lessons and heard that more and more children were coming to school without a packed lunch and had also not been given any breakfast at home, they decided to do something to combat this problematic nutritional situation. The founder and director of the school, Amina Zwindila, the representative of the Child & Family Foundation and the parental representative quickly found a solution to the problem: regular, balanced, communal meals for the pupils.
Tasty, health and, most importantly, local
Healthy, local dishes feature on the diverse, weekly menu - and this appears to be to the taste of the children, parents and teachers. For example, there is rice, beans, sweet potato stew or 'Gote', a sort of porridge which is very popular in Northern Nigeria. The fact that every child eats the same thing, can also create a positive atmosphere as this creates a sense of community spirit and the idea of belonging to a community.
Increase in performance and a big fun factor
The next test measure to be introduced has already become a successful project. The first few positive effects could be seen amongst the children after a relatively short time. They are now livelier during the school day, find it easier to take in information and can concentrate better on their activities. They look forward to going to school in the mornings, are more punctual and don't want to miss a second of their lessons. It's apparent that they enjoy learning far more now and that the teachers are pleased to see the increase in performance.