You can’t learn on an empty stomach. Food is key to children’s ability to concentrate, which is why a new kitchen in Sierra Leone is transforming so many lives.

Recently Bread and Water for Africa UK built a Kids’ Kitchen in an impoverished area of Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone. Now that the kitchen is built, 150 vulnerable children at the We are the Future (WAF) kindergarten and primary school are enjoying a healthy meal, five days a week. The difference it has made to their lives is simply amazing.

One such success story is that of Derick Smith. Derick is a student in Class 3 at the WAF School. He was often either absent or sleeping in class, too tired because his stomach was empty. But now, with a nutritious meal every day, Derick’s reading and writing has improved, and he is wide awake for his lessons. The difference is so dramatic, his father even went to school asking if Derick had a new teacher!

Before the new kitchen was built, hunger and tiredness were very noticeable in the children. What’s more, many would be absent from school because of sickness caused by a lack of nutrition. In Sierra Leone, rising inflation has pushed up the cost of foodstuffs, chronic hunger is widespread and the children are at the greatest risk.

Healthy Transformation

Since opening the new kitchen, there has been a marked difference in the 82 boys and 68 girls who attend school at WAF. A balanced daily meal has improved their energy and concentration levels significantly.

The school garden is another vital part of the Kids’ Kitchen project. By teaching children how to grow food we are providing meals, helping them to eat healthily, and giving them valuable skills for the future.

But we need more help to buy vegetable seeds and garden equipment so that the children can plant and nourish their own produce. By donating what you can today, you could provide hundreds of children with not only a daily meal but the chance to grow the food that can keep them healthy for years to come.