A good nutrition improves school performance, attendance to class and disease prevention.
In Zerca y Lejos we work to guarantee access to quality schools for approximately 580 children in the south area of Cameroon, particularly for the most disadvantaged families.
Among the Baka pygmy children, 26.6% are at risk or have global acute malnutrition, and 50.1% suffer from chronic malnutrition. This situation is perpetuated because of their marginal situation, and it favors the appearance of disease and school absenteeism and diminishes school performance.
According to WHO data, undernutrition has been linked to 45% of deaths among children under 5 years old. The lack of a right nutrition has also been linked to growth and intelectual development restrictions, as well as to attention deficiency and learning difficulties.
To try to improve this situation, the preschool centers' teachers have been trained as Health Agents. They detect cases of malnutrition and disease, and are responsible of informing the infirmary assistants of these cases so they can receive treatment. They also monitor each child's development using WHO standards. This allows for early identification of malnutrition cases that require intensive treatment and follow-up.
To address this problem, the teachers prepare porridge every morning, that is given to each child to promote their physical and intelectual development. This porridge has a high protein content and provides enough calories and nutrients to start the school day.
However, every year it becomes more difficult to ensure the purchase of these breakfast, with the risk that this implies for the health, education and intelectual development of these children.
In Zerca y Lejos we want that nutrition stops being an obstacle for education. Donate here: www.zercaylejos.org/alimentalaeducacion