Rise and Shine Porridge Breakfast Program
Breakfast Program | Kampala, Uganda
With the recent movie production of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe”, the world has been given a glimpse into the challenges and struggles faced by many children in Uganda. Even more relevant, the documentary film is based on Phiona Mutesi, a 9 yr old girl from Katwe, the Kampala area where BAAS International supports a local school, named Good Samaritan school. Phiona’s story is very similar to most Kampala children. She and her siblings live with their widowed mother, in a hut they can barely afford, and in a community that is desperately poor. Phiona’s story begins when she comes across a children’s chess club run by a local ministry offering free porridge, and Phiona is too hungry to resist a warm breakfast.
Over 15 years ago, volunteer activist, Noah Kisira, wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. He didn’t know exactly how to begin, but he had a vision to provide free education to children who had none. The children, whom he hoped to serve, are among the urban poor of Uganda. Noah began by gathering up children who apparently were not attending school at the Kalerwe vegetable market in one of the busiest sectors of Kampala. He was able to encourage them to attend classes in a one room warehouse, in the middle of the market place. The modest warehouse, made of corrugated steel sidings, served as a multi-purpose classroom for kids ages 4 to 11. His first group of students totaled 20.
Fast forward to the year 2015 and Noah is now serving over 300 children daily, providing them with a free education in a classroom environment. Since the vegetable market days, Noah was able to rent a multi-room building and children attend classes by grade level.
When BAAS staff visited Noah in 2011 at his school, we asked what would be the one most essential thing that the students needed. Noah took no time for the answer, it was obvious: the children needed breakfast! Many of the 300 plus children that arrived each day to Good Samaritan School came without eating. Most of their families are extremely poor. As a result, it was hard to children to focus on lesson plans during the day. Hunger is something that cannot simply be ignored.
BAAS Board Members responded to the need, and in 2012 a small kitchen was built on site to provide a nutritious porridge breakfast each morning to the entire student body and staff over 330 people, and counting!
Thanks to the continuing support for our Rise and Shine Porridge breakfast program, grade point averages have increased dramatically and absenteeism has sharply declined. And all of this thanks to one modest, warm meal that we hope to continue providing every morning!
While we have pledged to continue providing breakfast, we need your help. Imagine: a donation of $1000 can feed 300 children each semester! Breakfast can make a big difference in the lives of children.
The Rise and Shine breakfast program is located at Good Samaritan School in Kampala, Uganda.
Imagine what a difference a good breakfast can make in the life of a child! Rise and Shine provides a daily breakfast to over 300 elementary school children. Before the implementation of this project, many children were simply coming to school with empty stomachs which greatly diminished their ability to learn. Once Rise and Shine was introduced as a permanent nutrition program for Good Samaritan School, grades have gone up and scores for national exams have risen dramatically.