For many years, Friends of Hlekweni has provided free school meals (breakfast and lunch) for the children at Samathonga School which is on the site of the former Hlekweni Friends Rural Training Centre. (This was alongside other help in maintaining the school’s fabric and supplementing its educational resources.) Samathonga School has performed well in comparison with other schools and we are in no doubt that these meals have contributed to the children’s ability to learn and provided an important motivation for them to attend school every day.
From January 2016, we began to extend school meal schemes to other schools, as far as we are able, in accordance with the need to proceed cautiously when introducing new approaches. Whereas at Samathonga and Mgadla, the provision has consisted of sadza meal supplemented by vegetables, we have offered the food supplement Epap to the children at Lochview Primary School which is located on the outskirts of Bulawayo. Based on the positive evaluation of this approach with early years children we have extended it across the school.