Pervasive poverty, HIV/AIDS and food insecurity are the biggest threats to the survival and development of children in Sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe in particular. The high prevalence rate of HIV has resulted in increased death toll which in turn has eroded and in some cases depleted the safety nets of families and communities. The epidemic has a wide-range impact on the country, one of which is the rapidly increasing number of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC).
In late February 2017, Nhaka Foundation with friends from 2 Seconds Or Less embarked on the establishment of a nutrition garden in Munyawiri village Domboshava. The project is being implemented at Munyawiri Primary School, with the aim of providing sustainability to the school feeding programme. The project is complementing the Government’s Home Grown School Feeding Program (HGSFP) where the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is implementing a sustainable homegrown feeding solution whereby the government provides the grain for starch and the communities supply a protein or relish. This is one of the easiest ways of ensuring access to healthy diet that contains adequate macro- and micro-nutrients by producing different kinds of vegetables in the nutrition garden. They are especially important in small children’s diets to ensure normal growth and intellectual development. Munyawiri Primary School is one of the schools were Nhaka Foundation is implementing its programmes, after a needs assessment and feasibility analysis Munyawiri Primary School was chosen as a candidate for the pilot project. It is against this backdrop that Munyawiri School was supplied with garden tools and seedlings to kick-start the Project.
The garden project is expected to supply the school and surrounding community with diverse range and year-round harvest of vegetables while generating income for the school from the garden produce. The revenue will be used to buy food supplies for the school feeding program allowing the school to provide a diverse diet and other nutritive foods for the learners. The income generation component of the project will contribute to sustaining the nutrition garden as the school will be able to buy more seedlings for themselves and eventually feeding learners on their own making the school feeding program sustainable. This will contribute to sustaining the nutrition garden as the school will be able to procure more garden inputs for themselves and feed their learners making the school feeding program self-sustaining.
Nhaka Foundation is committed to supporting programs that are locally sustainable and value local level community engagement.
As we celebrate our 10th year Anniversary of “leaving a lasting legacy” we take a quotation from Grace Lee Boggs;
“We can begin by doing small things at the local level, like planting gardens or looking out for our neighbours. That is how change takes place in living systems, not from above but from within, from many local actions occurring simultaneously….”
Until next time,
 The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is spearheading the programme aimed at providing at least one balanced meal for pupils at primary level. "The benefits of investing in school feeding also linked to Sustainable Developmental Goal four, are that it provides a powerful institutional market and can produce impacts in the local supply chain and benefit communities”