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Nicaragua: School Meal Programme in San Roque, Matagalpa

Nicaragua: School Meal Programme in San Roque, Matagalpa 1

Yudelka Paola Martínez, a second-grade student at  San Roque School in the mountains of Matagalpa, enjoys rice, beans, tortilla, soy meat with vegetables and micronutrient-fortified corn-soy blend, as a mid-morning hot meal that WFP provides through the Ministry of Education. Some 64 pre-school and primary students attend this school, and for most of them this is the only meal they will eat during the day.

Nicaragua: School Meal Programme in San Roque, Matagalpa 2

"At break time, the children make a queue in front of the kitchen waiting for their meal. Once they have eaten, they become happy and more involved in the lessons" said Johana Jirón López, the first and second grade teacher of San Roque school.

Nicaragua: School Meal Programme in San Roque, Matagalpa 3

Daily, from Monday to Friday, two mothers go to school: not to learn but to prepare the meals. This is the turn of Martha Lorena Martínez and Nora Escobar. When the household budget permits, parents add nutritional supplements such as cheese and vegetables for their children.

Nicaragua: School Meal Programme in San Roque, Matagalpa 4

Liz María Ubeda, from the WFP office in Matagalpa (right, in black polo shirt) accompanies the pre-school teacher and the students during break time. Once fed, children concentrate better on their lessons and are more active.

Nicaragua: School Meal Programme in San Roque, Matagalpa 5

Three years ago, there were no schools in San Roque. TNT, an international express and mail delivery services company, financially contributed to the construction of two classrooms and a kitchen that it is also used as a store room. The school was constructed with labor and land donated from the parents. This humble home served some time as a classroom for the school children.

Nicaragua: School Meal Programme in San Roque, Matagalpa 6

Hidden between the coffee bushes, the small school at San Roque is located in the center of this mountainous community. Children attending pre-school are happy to use the materials and furniture provided by others cooperation agencies.

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Despite the community efforts, the needs are still too many. The school has only two multi-grade classrooms, one for preschool, first and second grade, and another room for third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade. There are only two teachers for the 64 students.

In the midst of the mountains of Matagalpa, where the small school of San Roque is located, some 64 pre-school and school children receive a hot meal provided by WFP through the Ministry of Education.