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Food Security Campaign 2019
Fundraising campaign 2019: Food Security
STOP PRESS. TARGET MET. THANKS TO GENEROUS DONORS THE FOOD PRODUCTION FROM THE GARDEN PROJECT IS NOW FUNDED ! MAY 2019
JUST THE KITCHEN PROJECT TO COMPLETE!
Food supply is a challenge for many families at Mbollet-Ba. Here's what we are doing
We've written a detailed guide to our two food projects for fundraisers and supporters.
Get it here (download pdf) or approach for more details.
Initiative 2019: Better School Food Garden
Mbollet-Ba School has always used school land and pupils' efforts to grow food for use in its own canteen. Children and teachers work hard to garden vegetables and Cassava. But now we need to work together to step things up. Government supply of rice for meals was stopped in 2018: The UN's Food Programme stopped. There are growing numbers of children relying on the school as their main meal. There are fewer teachers to support the growing effort.
We are campaigning in 2019 to fundraise for two solutions:
1. Employ a part time garden-supervisor teacher post who will be dedicated to organising volunteer student labour groups, managing the school growing patches, and teaching the science of plants.
2. Restore the school garden open well, built in the 1950s and now silting up. Along with some water conservation measures such as underground irrigation to prevent evaporation.
We' like to raise £2000 in 2019 to get these two things to happen. Our fundraising page at Just Giving is the place to start. If you can't support with cash, maybe you have time and resources!
Initiative 2019: Better School Kitchen
The School Canteen was built in 2010 with OGS support. It allowed the pupils to have a meal for the first time since a storm destroyed the old kitchen in 2007. It's basic and it's done the job of feeding 400 a day under the able leadership of Mariama Joof. The conditions aren't great and we want it to better for everyone: less smoke and heat, an ecological friendly solar cooker, and hygenic wipeable surfaces are the kind of thing we are talking about.
We are campaigning in 2019 on a fundraising programme to:
1. Buy and install a smoke-free no-carbon solar cooker which will work for most of the year as the main source of heat
2. Replace the current wooden fire pits with efficient double-burn design to reduce smoke and use of wood
3. Put a tap and sink for washing inside the kitchen structure
4. Put wipeable metal surfaces on the food prep areas
5. Some general repairs and a new coat of paint for the food areas
We'd like to raise £2000 in 2019 to get all these things to happen. Our fundraising page at Just Giving is the place to start. If you can't support with cash, maybe you have time and resources!
Gambia has a strong food growing tradition to build on. But water supply and goat-proof fencing are essential.
Children know the growing skills and can learn about all sorts of scientific principles as they garden.
Nursery children queue for their midday meal at the kitchen. Note the good order.
Each child pays 1 Dalassi and usually gets a staple eg sorghum wheat with a dollop of sauce. It's good for growing kids!
Food supply update May 2019
The work and effort in February, has produced good fruits. Here's produce grown by the school, harvested just two months after planting.
The challenge now is to raise the supply of basic staples in the school diet. The Government's rice supply has stopped (UN policy). Senior teacher Modou Corr sent us this message today commenting on the impact on the students:
"we don't have any food supply in the school and the kids find it very difficult. Without food most of them feel lazy and even the others a special the little ones will start sleeping in the class. I am suggesting to you if we can have some bag of rice to start cooking for them. What do you think?"
OGS is going to work with the village over the next 5 days to get a medium term solution in place to improve things. It's Ramadan and a time when food has an especial importance.
Question: how can OGS help the community achieve food security for school meals ?
With the end of central support for student feeding, the village community needs to find a new approach. External partners like OGS can help make the transition. What should we be doing and who is interested to help us work out our next steps.
We'll be discussing this at our gathering of all who have been involved in our project over the last 10 years, scheduled for June 2019.
Food and Nutrition Study Week
February 2019, Mbollet-Ba and Salusbury
The two schools ran a parallel week of activities on food and learning. Here's a flavour from the African side.
Thanks to Sarah Till (a Salusbury mum, now a professional chef) and partner Stuart Churchill, also a chef, for going out to Gambia to make this happen.
Mbollet-Ba followed a curriculum involving local research in their own food culture, food labelling systems, gathering food knowledge, analysing digestion, and cooking a celebratory meal. Salusbury had a similar programme.