This month the High Five Club has joined hands with Eastbourne College in East Sussex to launch a pioneering “Breakfast Club” at Malimba Community School in Zambia, providing pupils with a nutritious porridge cooked by volunteers from the community each school day.
Malimba Basic School is a rural school in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley. There is much poverty in this community and the children often go to school hungry, or miss school altogether to look for food or because they are too hungry to walk, for some up to 5km, to walk there.
The idea of a sponsored feeding programme at Malimba Community School is as simple as it is effective – full bellies mean fuller classrooms and improved learning. The availability of one decent meal a day for these children will mean that attendance levels will soar – children will no longer need to miss classes to go out and search for food. The boost to daily nutritional levels that such a feeding programme will provide means that the basic health of the children should improve dramatically, thus helping them to fight off the malaria and other diseases and infections they can so easily fall prey to. Many have been HIV positive since birth.
There are 408 children at Malimba Community School, ranging from nursery class up to Grade 7 (last year of primary school). Through the support of Eastbourne College (£1,200) and a month’s membership fees from High Five Club members (£600) we are now able to fund a Breakfast Club for one full year for the 244 youngest children at this school (nursery class and Grades 1 – 4). The community is very grateful for this support, and understands that at present we cannot provide breakfast for every child at the school. We have made a good start, and hopefully with the further support of pupils at Eastbourne College we will soon be able to extend this programme to the remaining 164 children, along with being able to sustain this programme over many years to come. At just £7.38 per child per year, this really is a life changing initiative!
Eastbourne College encourages pupils to reflect on their good fortune and consider, as an integral part of their wider education, the needs of those less fortunate than themselves. There are various opportunities for students to donate to charitable causes including mufti days and dedicated Charity Days, when a charity lunch of soup, a roll and fruit is offered and the catering department donates the money saved to ECHO (Eastbourne College Help Overseas)
ECHO is the College’s millennium charity set up by a group of dedicated staff members to enhance the lives of others within the global community. We are very grateful to ECHO and the pupils at Eastbourne College for their adoption of the Breakfast Club at Malimba Community School.