Improving childhood nutrition in Niger

In Niger, 48.2% of the population lives below the poverty line, or more than 9 million people who have become severely food insecure.

The low level of education of young people, mainly girls, is a major obstacle to the country’s development. Little or badly educated. Indeed, only 62% of girls complete primary schooling. Without education, these girls have their perspectives greatly reduced and forced.

Parents with few resources prefer that children prepare domestic or agricultural chores rather than go to school. When a meal is served, the trend is reversed. Parents have less pressure to feed their children and are therefore motivated at school.

That’s why Oxfam-Québec is on the Better Eating project to better study. The goal is to provide nutritious meals to students to increase school performance, classroom attendance and reduce child malnutrition.

Thanks to generous donors, this project began with the nutrition and health of thousands of young people; Click this project is to allow them to continue to have access to education and offer them a better future.

Educated, these girls are better equipped to contribute to the development of their country, to assume their responsibility. Joining forces for what they are, too, have access to the basic human rights of food and education.

Project implementation

The results are convincing. At the start of the project, the enrollment rate for girls was 2% in participating schools. In 2018, this rate has increased to more than 50%. In addition, the school retention rate is 99%. Specifically, rich and diverse meals are served daily in the canteens through the supply of dry goods and school gardens. With a full stomach, students are more focused, get better results and especially want to continue to go to school.

It is the women of the village who cook these nutritious meals. In addition to gaining nutrition skills and cooking skills, they earn extra income for their families.

To ensure that the project develops in the long term, community gardens run by schools have been set up, as well as small farms. The goal of these agriculture projects is to ensure sustainability of the project over the long term while providing additional income for schools.

Objectives and expected results:

• provide at least one meal a day to 2,866 children to combat malnutrition;

• promote better school results by providing better learning conditions;

• create jobs for village women and mothers of children;

• increase the nutritional supplements of children through the production of vegetable crops and small livestock;

• promote equality between girls and boys;

• provide training for teachers, parents’ associations; • allow the renovation of 11 classrooms.