Editor's note: First of all—a big thank you to you, reading this. A portion of the proceeds from bookings and reservations on byFood go to NPOs that work with children in need. Thanks to the support of our customers, one of our NPO partners, Seibo JAPAN, has been able to expand their school-meal services in Malawi. To find out more about byFood's involvement in charitable initiatives, take a look at our Food for Happiness Project.
More Meals for Children in Malawi
Seibo JAPAN has launched school-meal services at six new locations in Malawi, bringing their much-needed nutritional support to hundreds more children. As of April 26th, 2023, the NPO now provides school-lunch support at a total of 17 community-based centers for children (CBCCs) through its local division, Seibo Malawi. The NPO, which was established in 2016, currently supports more than 16 000 children across the country.
Support at a Critical Time
The new CBCCs that have been added to the school-lunch program are in Mpotola, Dyechiti, Tsamirani, Bwemba, Katondo and Chibanzi, all of which are in the rural Blantyre area in southern Malawi.
The expansion comes at a critical time: the region is grappling with a significant reduction of its maize crop, with yield losses expected to amount to roughly 15 000 hectares. Maize is a staple food throughout Malawi, particularly in rural areas.
Tucking into Phala
The CBCCs were divided into two groups, with an official opening ceremony taking place at each group. To kick things off, Seibo staff members showed the CBCC teams how to use the new stoves that had been supplied, as well as how to make Phala, a much-loved local dish that can be described as a sweetened corn porridge.
While the Phala was cooking, the Seibo staff conducted an official opening ceremony, inviting leaders from the local community to take part.
Helping Girls Go to School
One of the village chiefs, Group Village Headman Chalamanda, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Seibo Malawi. “This feeding support will bring more children to school, and further encourage their enrollment,” he said. “This will allow more children in our community to continue their education.”
A large number of learners drop out of school, or fail to enroll entirely, due to a lack of food or money. Girls are disproportionately affected.
Representatives from the local community-based organizations (CBO) assisting with the rollout of the school-lunch-program also thanked Seibo, and encouraged parents and childcare providers to make good use of the support being provided. The children then tucked into a tasty lunch.
The local schools also received cutlery and crockery, as well as basic feeding equipment like basins and buckets with taps, and materials to monitor the school-lunch program. Seibo staff members will visit the centers on a regular basis, to provide ongoing support.
One of the parents present, Lucy Wile, whose son attends Mpotola Kindergarten, said that Seibo’s support has made a big difference to the children’s lives. “In the past, children often did not go to school if there was no food,” she said. “We used to collect corn flour from the villagers to get food, but often there was not enough."
Yohane Ndaluza, the executive secretary of Mpotola CBCC, said that he was also very grateful for Seibo's assistance. Having seen the positive results of Seibo's efforts in other areas, he said he was confident that the school lunches would have a wonderful impact on his community as well. He said that he hoped Seibo would expand to other communities in Malawi.