By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Sierra Leone has stated that they are set to launch Phase V of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program on Thursday January 26.
The event is going to be launched by the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh and the United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Ambassador David Reimer.
The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
They made the disclosure through a press release in which they stated that since 2008, CRS has been implementing the Food for Education program together with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and CARITAS Makeni across 310 schools in Koinadugu and Falaba districts.
They promised that the program,which has gone through four phases, will continue to reduce hunger and promotes literacy and primary education, especially for girls.
The charity organization noted that the Food for Education program demonstrates that nutritious meals increase school attendance and promote higher academic performance.
According to the CRS press release, Phase 5 of the program focuses on promoting Home-Grown School Feeding through local and regional procurement, community ownership and sustainability to improve quality education.
They also stated that the Local and Regional Procurement model of Phase V aligns with the government’s commitment to introduce the Home-Grown School Feeding program in Sierra Leone.
Since the pronouncement of the Free Quality School Education in 2018, according to CRS, school feeding has been an integral aspect of the Government of Sierra Leone development priorities.
Country Representative of CRS Sierra Leone, Andrianambinina Jeanne Ella, said CRS has been operating in Sierra Leone for 60 years, leading development efforts in education, health and urban resilience.
“The Food for Education program is complimenting the Government’s free quality education priority to ensuring that all children reach their full health and development potentials in safe and nurturing families,” she said.