Project Porridge: We established this program after noticing that many children were coming to school hungry because they had not had breakfast or had walked long distances to school and needed more sustenance to keep them going throughout the day. Project Porridge has proved hugely popular and effective, with teachers and administrators reporting noticeable improvements in school attendance and performance since the program began.
Please read this amazing story to find out more:
PROJECT PORRIDGE – St Austell to Uganda!
By Jan and Roger Varney (taken from the “Hope” paper for St Austell and district No.8 Autumn 2009)
Do we really make porridge in St Austell to feed the hungry children in Uganda? Of course not; it would get cold on the way! But we think we are doing something just as good, so let us explain…
Kitega is a small rural village about 40km from the Ugandan capital, Kampala. There is little work in the area and many families experience poverty. This has it greatest effect on children, lowering their self-esteem and learning ability, while increasing their susceptibility to disease, without the family being able to pay for medical treatment.
Founded in 1990, the Kitega Community Centre is a non-governmental organisation supported by the Christian church, which serves people without discrimination. It aims to help disadvantaged children with learning difficulties, giving them the basic education they need if they are to have any chance of escaping a life of poverty. We were first introduced to Kitega in 2004 whilst visiting with friends.
About 200 children from the local villages, many of them orphans, attend the centre’s primary/junior school for formal schooling. Many come barefoot, often walking 5 miles from home without having breakfast or lunch, due to their families’ poverty.
So, from our home in St Austell in England we set up Project Porridge, which has so far raised funds to provide breakfast and lunch for 20 children with learning difficulties.
The children have formal education in the morning and vocational training in the afternoon, under the guidance of the centre’s qualified occupational therapist, staff and volunteers. This feeding programme not only improves their health, but enables them to learn without falling asleep through hunger.
Home visits are also carried out, during which the parents are encouraged to value the children and allow them to participate in domestic tasks. In addition, practical help is given to the neediest families.
By Jan and Roger Varney (UK)