Terrat Primary School Lunch Program in Partnership with Terrat Ward, Arusha Region
Imagine sending your child to school at 6am, knowing that they will go hungry all day. African-style keyhole gardens can help initiate a sustainable school lunch program for Tanzanian students.
Terrat Primary School Lunch Program
in Partnership with The Green Living Planet
P.O. Box 14888 Arusha, Tanzania
Implementing Organization: The Green Living Planet is an Arusha, Tanzania-based nonprofit organization (Certificate of Registration Number S.A. 18106) that is dedicated to environmental conservation, community development and creating awareness about environmental issues with primary and secondary school students.
Objective: To build 16 fully-sustainable African-style keyhole gardens at Terrat Primary School to help provide vegetables for a school lunch program for the students.
Current Situation: Terrat Primary School currently provides education for over 1000 students in a rural area outside of Arusha, Tanzania. Facilities at the school are second-rate even for Tanzanian standards. The floors are dirt-covered, ceilings unfinished, carrying sound from one classroom to the next and there are not enough desks or chairs for the students to sit in. Students attend classes from 7 am to 2 pm, many leaving their homes at 6 am to make the journey to school.
Most schools in Tanzania provide a basic lunch offering for students, but Terrat Primary School does not have the funding to offer food for the kids. Students often go 8-10 hours during the day without food. The lack of nutrition inhibits learning ability.
Assistance Plan: The Green Living Planet (GLP) is working with the headmaster, teachers and parents of students at Terrat Primary School to improve the environment and soil conditions in the community. GLP has already planted 183 trees with the children on the school grounds. We are now hoping to build 16 keyhole gardens at the school that will help provide vegetables to prepare for the students for lunch. The gardens will be built with the help of the students and teachers of the school. A keyhole garden is an African-style garden that utilizes a central compost basket, which maintains nutrient-rich soil in areas of land where suitable soil is scarce. You can see pictures of keyhole gardens we built at Good Hope Orphanage in Arusha,Tanzania on our website (http://www.greenlivingplanet.org/Current_Projects.html).
This new plan improves upon the old method of relying on parents to provide food for students in a poor rural community that is dependent upon adequate rainfall in order to produce crops for food. The keyhole gardens require less water, utilize compost to improve growth rates and support long-term sustainability. In addition, the plan involves teaching the students about the gardens, why they are effective and how to build them. The gardens will be completely constructed by students with the supervision of employees and volunteers of The Green Living Planet. This plan not only addresses the issue of a lack of nutrition for students, it also educates the students and empowers them to copy the plan on a smaller scale at their own homes.
Goals of the Project: Complete the building of gardens with the students within 8 weeks of the project being fully-funded. Once the well is completed, the farmland donated will be tilled and soil prepared for planting. Depending upon the dates of completion and how they coincide with the growing/rainy season here, The Green Living Planet estimates that the school will have a fully functional school lunch program ready to provide meals for the 1000 students at Terrat Primary School within 6-9 months.
Annual Evaluation: The Green Living Planet has been working with Terrat Primary School for over a year now and plans to continue monthly and eventually, bi-monthly, visits to ensure maintenance and continued success of the proposed project.
Needs Assessment: The area around Terrat is a rural, agriculturally-based community with approximately 14,000 community members. In years past, children would bring food grown at home for the school cook to prepare; however, over the past 3 years the community has experienced substantial drought conditions and almost all attempts to grow crops have completely failed. Women in the community gather at an area near the school grounds once a week to collect meager food rations from the government. These rations provide families with one meager daily meal in the evenings. The lack of nutrition available for students inhibits learning ability in the classroom and by early afternoon the students often become restless and unable to pay attention in class.
Because the Terrat community is nearly 100% dependent on an agricultural economy, it is imperative that a sustainable food program be implemented in the ward. The community has no other means of earning income to support family needs and what little money they do make often goes to pay for school fees for the children. Dependency on a sufficient rainy season means that without rain the community will continue to live in subsistent conditions. An educational program that not only feeds the children, but teaches them how to replicate the model at their own homes will provide a long-term solution to food shortages within families and the community at large.
$1280 - 16 Truckloads of Soil
$400 - 8 Truckload of Manure
$1280 - 16 Truckload of Compost
$480 - 16 Carts of Grasses
$560 - Bricks for Garden Walls
$40 - Shovels
$40 - Buckets
$40 - Hoes
$60 - Vegetable Seed Packets
$ 4180 Total Project Cost
Once the project is initiated, it is self-sustaining and needs no further funding, only maintenance of the gardens which the school headmaster, students, teachers and maintenance team have agreed to.
Plan and Execution: Support by the diwani (local political chairman for the ward), headmaster of the school, school administration and parents have already been raised. Because The Green Living Planet has been working with the Terrat ward for several months now, the organization has built trust and relationships with the members of the community who will be an integral part of the success of the project.
All products listed above in the project costs will be sourced from local businesses in and around the ward so that the project also supports community economic growth. The gardens will be built by the students of Terrat Primary School under the supervision of Benson Mariki, Executive Director of The Green Living Planet. Benson Mariki has experience building viable keyhole gardens that are still used today.
All monies won from Africa Rural Connect would be used to cover the project costs listed above. Any additional monies received would be used to build additional gardens and/or to plant fruit trees around the gardens for the prevention of soil erosion and fruit supply.
Real World Impact: The keyhole garden project will, first and foremost, provide necessary nutrition for the 1000 students attending Terrat Primary School. Secondary to the provision of food, is the education and training of students to replicate the gardens at their own homes. If replication is successful, the project has the potential to provide additional food sources to over half of the community of 14,000 people in Terrat ward. It is anticipated that within 6-9 months of the building of the gardens, the school lunch program will be fully functional with the gardens providing the necessary vegetables for food.
* Project idea developed by Benson Mariki, Executive Director of The Green Living Planet, in cooperation with the headmaster, teachers, students and parents of students at Terrat Primary School.
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