Nepal: ‘I Would Have Gone Hungry Without School Meals’
BATULI VILLAGE, BAJHANG - It’s two in the afternoon. As the bell rings, signalling the end of lunch break, 11-year-old Lalita Bohara runs to her classroom, opens her notebook, and sits down on a bench along with her classmates while waiting for their teacher.
Amidst the excited chatter of the students, their English subject teacher is cheerfully greeted with “Good afternoon, Sir,” as he enters the classroom. Lalita and the other third grade students immediately start paying attention to him.
“I would have gone hungry had there been no meals on school days,” says Lalita, at dismissal time that day. “The meal helps me pay attention to the teachers while studying.”
At home, Lalita, despite her young age, already helps her mother do a number of chores such as fetching water, cutting vegetables and cleaning the house. On holidays, she also collects firewood – a six-hour journey on foot from her house. Unlike most kids, Lalita prefers to go to school and wishes there were no holidays.
School Meals Programme
In 2012, more than 38 million meals were served to nearly 192,000 children of 1700 primary schools.
Under the School Support Programme, WFP in collaboration with GIZ, invested in building infrastructure for around 60 schools to promote quality education and improve physical environment for around 10,000 students.
WFP is supporting more than 800 children from eight schools in Doti and Dadeldhura districts with digital learning materials under the laptop programme in partnership with Open Learning Exchange Nepal.
WFP supports the Government of Nepal in implementing the School Meals Programme through Food For Education Project under the Ministry of Education.