Republic of Korea contributes US$3 million to support school feeding in Nicaragua
SAN RAFAEL DEL NORTE, Jinotega, Nicaragua – The Republic of Korea, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), contributed US$3 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide daily hot meals to school children in the department of Jinotega and in the Autonomous Region of the Northern Caribbean coast.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Young-sam Choi, and the Deputy Director of KOICA, Jiun Yun, visited the “Audilia Úbeda Castro” primary school in the Namanjí community, located in San Rafael del Norte, department of Jinotega, to meet educators, students and parents.
This contribution supports WFP’s project “Promoting climate resilience and school feeding among vulnerable communities in Nicaragua.” For the next three years, the project will promote the use of school gardens to provide fresh food for the daily meals of children attending pre and primary schools in Jinotega and the Northern Caribbean coast.
Beira Lisset Gutiérrez, head of the Namanjí school, thanked the visitors for their contribution and explained the benefits of school meals for children, the community and the country. “We know well that a well-fed child will perform better in school and will be able to become a professional in the future,” she said.
The Korean Ambassador, the Deputy Director of KOICA, and the WFP Deputy Country Director, Hebert López, toured the school to talk with teachers, parents and students about the school feeding programme and spent time with the children as they received their hot meals. A technical team from the School Feeding Programme of the Ministry of Education participated in this visit.
“Thanks to this programme we can feed the children of Nicaragua, learn how to grow crops, and care for our environment while adapting to climate change,” said Choi. “We hope that all this support and education can contribute towards improving the health and education of children because, as we said before, the children are our future and hope.”
Namanjí is a small rural community of 200 homes. Its inhabitants are engaged in agriculture, and work primarily in local tobacco farms. Some 140 children attend school. Parents cook the school meals at home and bring them to school every day because the school does not have its own kitchen.
Over the next three years (2019-2021), Korean authorities hope to contribute to school attendance and retention, and to build climate resilience through school gardens. “This initiative will have a positive impact on the nutritional status of children, improve learning and increase knowledge of both parents and children about resilience and the sustainable use of resources,” said Yun.
"We appreciate this valuable contribution from our friends of the Republic of Korea, who support the education and nutrition of girls and boys in Nicaragua," said Lopez.
During the visit, children from the school performed traditional dances and sang songs about school meals.
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The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.