Lalafofofo.org Expands Student Lunch Programs in Tanzania

The Lalafofofo organization has announced plans to add a student lunch program to a third school in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzana, which will provide meals to an additional 200 students in the impoverished area.

MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 27, 2015—Lalafofofo, a charitable organization established to be a source of affordable, small-scale service projects in the Kilimanjaro region of East Africa, has announced the launch of a new school lunch program to feed 200 students at the Tindegani Public School near the remote village of Boma Ng’ombe, Tanzania. This will be the third public school in the region to receive a Lalafofofo.org-sponsored lunch program.

In the Spring of 2015, lunch programs were put in place by the organization in the Mlima Shabaha and Sanya Station public elementary schools, benefitting 600 children whose families could not afford to provide lunch for the children. Studies from the World Health Organization, have shown that short-term hunger resulting from the lack of school meal programs among Tanzanian school children causes significant problems linked to elevated absenteeism, attention problems and early school dropouts.

Research from the World Health Organization has found that 50 to 70 percent of students in different parts of Tanzania go to school without breakfast, and receive no meal during the school day. The consequences of short-term hunger in the long run include major nutritional deficiencies, underweight, and “stunting”—a form of growth failure due to chronic malnutrition. Forty percent of Tanzania’s school children have iron deficiency anemia, and at least one-quarter of these students are Vitamin A deficient.

During famine or farming periods when food is scarce, many children forego school in search of food or income to buy food. Dropout rates also increase significantly among school children who do not receive lunch.

Laura Vaughan, who together with her husband Brannan and three sons established Lalafofofo.org, says that generally, adding a lunch program to a Tanzanian school provides life-changing nourishment to the students, but also comes with an obligation to improve school building and infrastructure. This is best accomplished by adding a safe, functioning kitchen and additional bathrooms, projects that Lalafofofo volunteers are currently working on at two of the schools.

“Many public schools in Tanzania do not have kitchens so lunches are prepared outside over a fire,” Vaughan says. “Usually there are an insufficient number of bathrooms to accommodate the number of students and they are unsanitary.”

“A kitchen and sufficient bathrooms are important to schools and should accompany a meal program because the food needs to be properly stored and prepared. Also, when children are eating, there needs to be clean, usable restrooms for them to use.”

The school lunches consist of locally produced beans and “ugali” (corn porridge). In order to address the problem of stunting, Lalafofofo.org will also be adding vitamins and nutrient fortifiers to the lunches, a practice that is in line with recommendations from the Gates Foundation, UNICEF, and multiple UN organizations.

The non-profit is operating consistently with the “four pillars” guidelines of the Feed the Children organization. The guidelines advocate initially feeding the children, then fixing run-down conditions in the schools and then introducing self-subsisting projects to the community that will allow villagers to ultimately help themselves and their schools. Donations for the Tindegani school lunch program, or any of Lalafofofo’s ongoing service projects can be made online at Lalafofofo.org.

The Vaughans continue to raise awareness and funds for the villages surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro, and to empower U.S. families to participate in global volunteerism through a variety of affordable service projects..

To make a donation or find out more about the Vaughan’s charitable projects in Tanzania, visit the lalafofofo.org website, email info@lalafofofo.org, or call 650.218.3027.

About Lalafofofo.org:

Lalafofofo (a Swahili expression for “sleeping peacefully”) is a 501c3 charitable organization created by Laura Vaughan of Atherton, Calif. Lalafofofo is set up to be a source of affordable, small-scale service projects in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania, East Africa. Lalafofofo links individuals, youths, families and groups directly to much needed projects in Kilimanjaro, ranging in cost from $500-$2,500 for financial sponsorship.


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