Though school remains closed for the summer holiday, our support to families in the scholarship plus program continues. As we have previously shared, in 2022 we expanded our scholarship program to not just provide for school fees, but to provide additional assistance with transportation, school supplies and uniforms, and monthly food distribution. A social worker completed a needs assessment to help determine which families would benefit most from the different aspects of the program. Families experiencing the most extreme poverty are given food allotments to ensure basic nutrition each month. These food distributions have continued through the summer holiday, including one last week.
We spent one very rainy afternoon visiting a few of the families receiving food provisions through our scholarship plus program. We brought them 40+ pound bags containing oatmeal, rice, lentils, peanut butter, several different vegetables, and separately, 10 liters of bagged, long-lasting milk. The goal of this particular part of the program is to prevent malnutrition to ensure that children have the best chance of success in school.
One family we visited lives in a structure made of bamboo. There are 2 parents, 4 children, and 2 grandchildren living in the 2 room structure. At the moment, there is nothing but a ladder to reach the second floor where the bamboo home is located. The family is very slowly building a structure out of cement blocks beneath their current home. It has taken them several years to complete the foundation and 2 walls. As you can imagine, they have many competing financial needs and are doing all of the construction work themselves on the weekends or when they are not working. Though they share that at times their living situation can be challenging, they are determined that their children succeed in school. We are honored to partner with them in this goal, and hope that these monthly food provisions can ease some of their burden to ensure their childrens’ well being.