Volunteer Louise Roenn Svane recently visited the Food for People (FFP) facility in Ghana. The Food for People program provides clean water and millions of nutritious meals to disadvantaged children and elderly people in Ghana, India, and Nepal. Here are some of her photos and observations (Louise is pictured below surrounded by some of the children she met).
In 2016 the Food for People program in Otinibi, Ghana expanded to serve students from Aisha Bint Khalifa School (green uniforms), which is just next door to the Otinibi Basic School (yellow and brown uniforms). Hygiene is a top priority at all FFP facilities and all the students wash their hands before entering the dining hall.
During the past couple of years, there has been a rising need in the Otinibi community for the Food for People program to serve younger children, from two to five years old. These children are typically younger siblings of the school students. Here a couple of the younger boys from the Aisha Bint Khalifa School who are on their way to the “canteen,” as they call the facility, to enjoy their daily meal.
The kitchen staff prepares every meal from scratch, using local recipes and ingredients. Today, banku (a local favorite dish of doughy fermented corn and cassava) and stew are served.
The delicious local dishes light up the faces of these kids. A boy from the Basic School (orange uniform) joined students from the Aisha Bint Khalifa School at the dining table. In addition to both schools, the facility caters daily to 40 village elders who are unable to cook for themselves.
These young women are excited to be in the line for lunch. They are all students at the Aisha Bint Khalifa School.
All done! These students finished every bite on their plates and after washing up, will be ready to return to their afternoon lessons, happy and nourished. Each day the facility serves more than 850 meals to children from the two local schools.
“We don’t just cook for the children,” says Roselyn, assistant head cook (on the left). “We give the children love and care. It’s important to us that they feel the love.”
Jacinta is another assistant head cook. She’s worked at Food For People for seven years now and says she’s grateful to witness the growth and prosperity that the program has brought to the children and their community.
All done and now time to play!
Children head back to class after lunch, crossing the football field to the Otinibi Basic School.
FFP has resulted in drastic improvements to school enrollment and achievement at both of the schools it serves. New classrooms were built to try to accommodate the increases at both, but it’s been hard to keep up with rising demand. Otinibi Basic has become so popular that it has had to stop taking any new students until more classrooms are built. You can see the sign that teachers posted telling parents that they aren’t admitting new students at this time. Hopefully they’ll be able to build more classrooms soon so even more children will be able to attend this school, and the life-changing food program.