School Lunch @ Buhumba PS

While there are no school fees required for primary education in Uganda, many families in the Lake Bunyonyi area still experience hardship in covering even the most basic contributions to the formal education of their children, such as pens, writing tablets, books, a school unfiorm, etc. Yet way atop a tall hill high above the Lake, the parents of Buhumba Primary School realize that one need in particular is not being met and stands out as critical. A basic lunch.

At Buhumba Primary School, the challenges to learning for students are many, but perhaps there is no single greater obstacle to effective learning than hunger. At Buhumba, as with too many African villages, there is no lunch served at school. In the case of Buhumba, primarily due to geography (a recurring theme in life at Bunyonyi!), many students come from too far away to simply go home for lunch - where they may or may not find it anyway. Those that do go home may not return for two hours or more, and too often skip the whole remainder of the school day if there is work at home or in the fields. Naturally, children bringing bagged lunches are rare. So it was with some surprise to us, though also a great deal of joy and hope, that the school's parents, teachers and adminstrators have decided to try tackle the problem!

Full bellies means full minds! The headmaster of Buhumba PS, along with parent and teacher represetatives, approached the Byoona Amagara Project with an idea and a request: To feed their students lunch at school through an organized community effort, based primarily on parent contribution, and would Byoona Amagara lend its support to seed the program, and set it on a sustainable path?

Happily, in recent months, as the parents of the school organized themselves, Byoona Amagara has found a new development partner in the Sustainable Communities Network in the United Kingdom (SCN-UK), and have together begun a campaign to fund school lunch at Buhumba PS.

Click HERE to view SCN-UK's lunch program outline. (pdf - 74k)

Examples of the type of lunch that might be served at Buhumba will be posted soon! In general, the daily meal will vary from a mix of Irish Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Rice, Posho, Matooke(similar to plantain), Red & Black Beans, Meat (perhaps only once or twice/week), and cabbage.

To help get a better idea of what's going on at Buhumba, here are a few pictures - starting off with the NEW KITCHEN that is being built by the Buhumba parents in anticipation of serving lunch! (The new kitchen is made of mud-clay and poles, a traditional method of building semi-permanent structures - a fraction as durable as brick, but also a fraction of the cost. If the lunch program at Buhumba is realized, we may just yet be able to make the kitchen permanent!

© Byoona Amagara 2007