Child Rights Club Feeds Primary School
G’Lambo Primary School, located in Karatu district in Arusha, Tanzania, provides daily meals to its students. Most days, the kitchen serves the popular kande dish – a mixture of beans and maize. On Mondays and Fridays however, the menu offers something that causes the lunch line to snake around the hallways and brings children back for second and third helpings.
The bell rings at half past one in the afternoon. Instead of the usual assembly, students line up in front of the kitchen with plastic bowls in their hands. Their glimmering eyes intimate that they are looking forward to the meal: fresh vegetables grown and harvested by the school’s Child Rights Club (CRC). G’Lambo Primary School is one of several schools in Karatu that has a Child Rights Clubs (CRC), supported by the Centre for Women and Children Development (CWCD) and implemented under the Bantwana Initiative’s Pamoja Tuwalee program.
Through the CRCs, children have the opportunity to meet outside normal class hours and talk about issues that affect them, such as their rights, responsibilities, and the opportunities that are available to them. Recently, CRC members participated in nutrition and gardening education where they learned about the benefits of eating vegetables. The CRCs at G’Lambo then applied their lessons to establish productive kitchen gardens that contribute to weekly school meals. The students help harvest vegetables for the chefs and ensure that there are enough vegetables for everyone.
“Mondays and Fridays are very special because we add vegetables to the kande,” says Fulgence Kirway, the school head teacher. “At lunch time, all you see are children with beaming faces and empty bowls. They love the vegetables!”
“Vegetables are good for our health,” adds Happiness, a grade seven student. “We have even started up vegetable gardens at our homes, and our parents help us to manage them.”