1,500 students of Oserian Primary School, a public school, will now benefit from the flower farm’s feeding programme that has kicked off in Naivasha. A cup of nutritious uji (porridge) for breakfast and a plate of food for lunch is a big relief to students and parents who no longer need to struggle for these two meals, provided as part of the flower exporters CSR programme.
The excited pupils said they are happy for getting a hot cup of uji and a hot lunch given that in the past they had to make do with cold food carried from home, those who couldn’t carry a meal skipped lunch while others reported cases of food going bad.
Oserian Administration Director Mary Kinyua said the school feeding programme is part of the company’s contribution to the success of the Government’s Big 4 Agenda – food security and Education – by keeping well fed children in school so they could concentrate on education. She disclosed that a needs assessment identified the feeding programme as a gap requiring intervention. Due to various reasons, some of the pupils went to school without breakfast and a few skipped lunch affecting performance. The feeding also aims at encouraging enrollment in school because when children are assured of a meal, they will go to school.
Late last year, Oserian unveiled a new bloc of eight classes, constructed to prepare for an envisaged increase in school going children population as the firm’s industrial park takes shape. It is expected that the number of people living in the Oserian village will surge to about 20,000 from the current 11,000 as investors take up space at the business park.
Chef Richard Lang’at who is in charge of the programme said feeding children is one of the best contributions a business can make to community development. He added that parents of the school, most who wake up at 4am to prepare for work no longer have to worry about breakfast and lunch since the company has taken the burden off their minds and pockets. The breakfast will be served between 6.30- 7am before lessons start at 8am.
Some Ksh 13 million has been put aside for the feeding, partly contributed to by the farm’s partners, through the FairTrade premiums.
Education is a key pillar of Oserian Development Company community support programmes, under the Flowers for Schools tag. The others are Food Security, Health and Nature.