How WFP's School Feeding Programme helped Imelda and her friends. A young girl's story from NTT Province.
Published on 23 June 2011

"Imelda is one of 225,000 primary school children who are part of WFP’s School Feeding Programme in NTT province"




(Copyright: WFP/Mitra Salima)

WFP's School Feeding Programme has been helping school girls like Imelda get a daily ration of fortified biscuits at school.

Imelda is a fifth grader from Oebello Primary School in Kupang, the capital of Indonesia's Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) province. Her father is a farmer who struggles to provide the family's basic food needs; her mother is a housewife. Imelda has four young brothers and sisters. It is easy to spot the symptoms of anemia in her dimmed eyes. Her general health and nutritional needs are scarcely met, given that the family's limited income has to be shared across the needs of all the children. 

Breakfast is a luxury for Imelda, as she rarely eats before going to school in the morning. Although Imelda understands the importance of practicing good hygiene, she only brushes her teeth occasionally because her parents cannot afford to buy her a toothbrush and toothpaste. Over the past few years, Imelda has repeatedly fallen ill from typhoid. 

But Imelda's life has started to improve. School girls like her are some of the 225,000 children who benefit from WFP's School Feeding Programme implemented in selected primary schools in Kupang.

Since the programme started in Imelda's school, she no longer has to study on an empty stomach. Imelda munches down her ration of fortified biscuits distributed every day during class and has shown significant improvement in her studies. Her parents have also noted that falls sick much less often since she has started receiving the fortified biscuits in school. 

Twenty-seven percent of the people of NTT live on less than US$1.55 per day. The crippling poverty of the province mean that it has been selected as a priority region for WFP and the UN in 2011.

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