Parmiters C group picked up where their schoolmates left off in 2015, helping Kahe-area primary schools achieve food self-reliance. 16 students and 3 leaders spent 5 days working with Maendeleo Primary School and Tupendane staff to develop the school’s Self-Reliant School Breakfast Farm. Over the 5 project days the students completed a number of tasks including:
- 3 compost piles
- 3 days serving school breakfast
- Organic seedling and spray production
The two most significant contributions the group made were expanding the school’s farm and constructing a Happy Pig Pen to help Tupendane improve its financial self-reliance.
Parmiters C group worked alongside students, parents, and teachers to plant around 60 banana trees and 20 vegetable garden beds at Maendeleo Primary School. The banana and vegetable gardens are part of Maendeleo’s Self-Reliant School Breakfast Farm design. The objective of the farm is for students to harvest enough food to serve breakfast every school day.
School breakfast has proven to be one of the most impactful interventions for primary school students. Daily nutritious breakfast reduces illness and absenteeism. Full bellies help students focus in school and retain knowledge. Good health improves education, which leads to better opportunities for children as they grow older. As the community comes to appreciate the health, education, and income benefits of daily breakfast, they become more supportive of the Self-Reliant School Breakfast Farm and the students who are running it.
Another objective of the school farms is to teach students best practices in leadership, organization, and agriculture. Students are encouraged to organize themselves into self-managed teams with specific responsibilities. Tupendane employs a “Mama Bustani” (Garden Mom) at each school to support the student garden clubs. For the program to be self-reliant, Tupendane needs to generate income to cover the salary of the Mama Bustani at each school. In 2015, Parmiters students came to Kahe and built a demonstration Happy Pig Pen at Tupendane’s farm. Over the last two years, Tupendane employees have operated the pig pen and learned how to successfully raise pigs in Kahe. Parmiters C used an improved, streamlined design and built a Happy Pig Pen for Nazaeli, Maendeleo Primary School’s Mama Bustani.
The pig pen will be run as a joint venture between Nazaeli and Tupendane. The objective of the pig pen is to generate income to help Tupendane cover Nazaeli’s salary so that eventually she will be able to support her family and continue working with the school without outside financial assistance. This will enable Tupendane to begin bringing its Self-Reliant School Farm program to other schools in Kahe.