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Youth race for underprivileged feeding progromme

More than 200 youth in Nanyuki, Laikipia County, have participated in a 10-kilometre run to fundraise for a school feeding programme for learners in the informal settlements ahead of schools’ reopening next week.

The initiative dubbed ‘One Child Fed’ is targeting to ensure pupils in the areas of Majengo, Likii, and Kanyoni informal settlements have nutritious meals in their respective public primary schools.

The run, which was organised through the sponsorship of Licha Project, a Laikipia Community-Based Organisation, further targeted to end hunger in classrooms since the majority of pupils from the informal settlements attended school while hungry, which results in poor grades, early teen pregnancies, and increased school dropouts in the county, exacerbated by poverty.

Local leaders led by Laikipia North Member of Parliament Sarah Korere emphasised the need for collaboration by all education stakeholders in ensuring learners in the county do not miss out on schooling due to hunger.

“Most of the time, when a child lacks food, they can’t concentrate in class, and therefore this feeding programme initiative needs to be prioritised through partnerships to improve enrolment in our schools,” said Korere.

She noted that in the recent drought season in Laikipia, learners were the worst affected, and as a result, the majority dropped out of school.

Nanyuki Ward Member of County Assembly Antony Theuri said that they had put in place measures to feed Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) pupils, which have started showing positive results through improved performances.

Licha Project founder Haman Kafaria said that they used home-grown solutions like kitchen gardens in schools they support within the county aimed at addressing hunger among students and promoting education.

“Our aim is to address hunger in schools within informal settlements and in rural areas. Licha is a home-grown solution for local problems whereby youth have come together to end classroom hunger through innovative sustainable measures,” revealed Kafaria.

Meanwhile, thousands of children have benefited since the Licha project was started three years ago.

By Muturi Mwangi

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