School food

School jam1food through the Ernst Prost Foundation for Africa at the Kassoque and Atchuyu primary schools in Bocoio (province of Benguela) in Angola


1. Introductionjam2

Bocoio is an administrative district in the north of the province of Benguela in Angola. According to the 2014 census, the region has a population of 154,446, of whom 7.6% live in the province of Benguela. Bocoio is made up of five municipalities: Monte Belo, Chila, Chubal, Lumbo and Pass. The tropical climate alternates between the dry season and the rainy months of September to April. In addition to corn, potatoes and sweet potatoes, families also grow beans in their domestic gardens. However, this is usually only sufficient for them to feed themselves, so they do not have enough left over to sell. In the last five years Bocoio has been hit by a drought, causing a severe reduction in agriculture and impacting dramatically on the food situation for the population. This mainly affects children, who often suffer from malnutrition/undernourishment.

Most of the people living in the villages are unemployed. Some of them work in mines. On average they own ¼ to ½ hectare of land on which they try to grow vegetables. During the dry season they collect wood so as to sell it as firewood or charcoal. There are no medical care centers in the villages and clinics are frequently only to be found in the bigger towns of the administrative districts.

The evaluation and control of schools has been taken care of by JAM Angola in coordination with the local education authority and the local ministry, based on the criteria specified by the “Ernst Prost Foundation for Africa”.
The schools are selected according to the following factors:

1. Accessibility via country roads
2. Situation and standard of living in the surrounding community
3. Existing infrastructure in the communities, i.e. availability of a school kitchen and storage room for corn-soybean gruel, willingness on the part of the mayor and parent-teacher association to provide support
4. Access to clean drinking water

2. Atchuyu primary school

Atchuyu primary school is situated near the village of the same name in the municipality of Monte Belo, 56 km from the administrative center of Bocoio. The village has a population of approx. 700. The name of the village mayor is Romeo Tchavala and the chairman of the parent-teacher association is Anthony Gando.

GPS coordinates   S. 12 19 45 - E 14 20 43
No. of students   Boys: 51; girls: 79
 Teachers   Male teachers: 2 ; female teacher: 1
 School Headmaster    Albina Kuva

The jam4school comprises a simple clay building and is attended by 130 children. The students have to walk between two and four kilometers to school. When it rains, it is often very difficult to walk along the stony path. jam3The school headmaster has confirmed that since the beginning of the year many students aged between 5 and 7 are failing to attend since the long walk to school is too much for them on an empty stomach.
As yet the school does not have a storage room, though local volunteers have got together to build a storage room so as to be able to keep sacks of powder for the corn-soybean gruel.
Thanks to funding provided by the Ernst Prost Foundation for Africa, each child will receive a meal of nutritious corn-soybean gruel on every day of school. This covers 75% per cent of a child’s nutritional needs. Years of experience have shown that a school meal is the key factor in ensuring that children regularly attend school.


3. Kassoque primary school

The primary school is situated in the village of Pass in Bocoio and is named after the village of Kassoque. It is 36 km from the administrative center of Bocoio. The village can only be reached by a stony, bumpy road. The village has a population of 542. The mayor is Tchiloya Kassimbo and the chairman of the parent-teacher association is Kalui.

GPS coordinates   S. 12 35 56 - E 13 59 24
No. of students   Boys: 70; girls: 60
 Teachers   Male teachers: 4 ; female teacher: 1
 School Headmaster   David Canjongo Ngolo

At jam5Kassoque primary school, students are taught up to 6th grade.
Since the school does not have its own facility, classes are taught in a clay building that belongs to the Catholic Church.Teaching has been provided here for approx. eight years. The 130 students come from three nearby villages. Here again, the children have to walk up to four kilometers to school, but the prospect of gaining and education and soon also one meal per day has a highly motivating effect on students. jam6At the beginning of 2015 student numbers were considerably higher, but here again, hunger keeps the children from undertaking the long walk to school. The parents leave the house early to go to work in the mines and they are not able to leave food for their children. What is more, there has barely been any rain this year, making it virtually impossible to grow fruit and vegetables. It is very important for this school to be included in the JAM food program.

Drinking water wells are soon to be drilled at the Atchuyu and Kassoque primary schools in collaboration with the Rotarians. This will enable the corn-soybean gruel to be prepared with clean water.

At the Kassoque school, too, the mayor has promised that a storage room will be built to store the corn-soybean gruel powder next year.

Like the other roads, the road to Kassoque is very narrow and difficult for vehicles to navigate due to stones, potholes and branches lying on the ground.

4. School food program

Neither of the schools are in the JAM food program or in any government-sponsored food program.
Local communities take care of the following tasks:

  • The women and mothers collect the firewood, prepare the corn-soybean gruel and give it out. They then wash the bowls and the spoons.
  • The school director records daily consumption and the number of school students.

    JAM will take on the following tasks:

  • Regular delivery of the CSB gruel to schools, as well as a cooking pot and the red dishes and spoons
  • Regular monitoring of the school food program
  • Training of the parent-teacher association in preparing the gruel, observing hygiene standards and reporting

The Ernst Prost Foundation for Africa will provide financial support for the food program at the Atchuyu and Kassoque schools. A total of 260 children will be fed at the two schools.
The costs will be as follows: € 260 x € 48 = € 12,480 per year.