05-11-2017 by Hilary Mazzon
The union is good, just like feeding for children.
When two Italian realities that are well known in Kenya for their solidarity projects never end in themselves and get together and collaborate, excellent prospects for the local population are born.
This is what happened between Gandini and Langobaya, 70 km inland from Malindi on the road to the Tsavo National Park.
The Gandini Primary School couldn't have been lucky enough to have a partner like Watoto Kenya Onlus.
After several development and support interventions, such as the connection to the aqueduct that allowed the school to have water, the integration of the teaching staff of the kindergarten with the staff to be taken in charge of WKO by another qualified teacher, the design of the classrooms of the school with benches and chairs, the support of teaching and teaching materials, this year there have been other beautiful and important news.
But we also had to think about food.
The data show that in schools where a meal is distributed regularly, there are 28% more enrolments and early school leavers, with an increase in attendance of 5% for boys and 10% for girls (although for various reasons the rate of early school leavers by girls remains high).
The first partnership agreement between Wateoto Kenya Onlus and NGO Karibuni provides that the hot meal for Gandini Primary's students is provided by the latter, which with its farms located in Langobaya, a few kilometers from Gandini, produces the entire school menu and is the exclusive supplier for the feeding program promoted by Watoto Kenya.
The presidents of the two associations, Mariangela Alterini and Gianfranco Ranieri, both company managers, wanted to create a model of help based on collaboration and partnership, unlike the usual way of acting often individualisticly spread among the Italian associations, albeit always under the banner of generosis launches and good intentions.
Thanks to Watoto Kenya, 500 pupils, including kindergarten and primary school, now enjoy a warm meal every day, while the 150 younger children of the kindergarten also have breakfast in the morning.
A proper and regular diet is not only indispensable for the health of children, but above all it is essential for learning. The increase in school attendance obviously also has positive effects on the improvement of educational attainment. The school director of Gandini's school stated that "although the area was affected by severe drought, famine and hunger, the food programme had a visible impact on pupil absences", adding that "teachers reported an increase in pupil concentration during lessons and increased participation in both curricular and non curricular subjects".
It has been calculated that following the introduction of the food programme there has been a 29% increase in enrolment and school performance has improved by 22%.
This is an example of how it would be important to "network" and broaden the impact of the interventions, putting together the peculiarities of each nonprofit in common projects that allow to create greater overall value for the beneficiaries and that at the same time give a different value to the action of the Italian organizations active in the area of Malindi. This is really a significant new development that should be noted.
Watoto Kenya's entire project strategy is now based exclusively on partnerships, with public and private, international or local entities.
The new governance does not believe in the policies of giving only.
Those who are part of a project, even if they are a beneficiary, must put something into it, obviously according to their possibilities.
Not charity, but partnership, as the UNâs 2030 objectives indicate.
For example, the agreement with the public school Gandini provides that WKO will provide food, but it must be cooked in turn by the parents of the beneficiary children, who also contribute by bringing wood to cook it, while the school provides for oil, salt and water. The whole community is therefore involved and actively participates in giving something to the project, on the basis of a formal agreement of which everyone (school, families, suppliers) are parties and responsible for success.
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