Transcript For 'School Feeding In Bhutan: Going The Last Mile'

Dorji Dema: “My mother is a yak herder and almost all the year she is staying with the yaks in the high mountains. My father and eldest brother passed away when I was young and now I am taking care of myself, my younger sister, brother and three years old niece. The best part of my day is going to school. I have my friends there and there’s so much going on. If there is no WFP food, my mother would take me out of the school because she is the only one working. If I can become an engineer, I want to bring mother home and I want to keep her safe.

Kencho Wangmo: “We have seen that something as small as providing meals in school can play a huge role in whether or not children like Dorji can finish school and follow their dreams. The school meals give parents a reason to put you to school and now that you are in the school, you know the value of education and how much of a difference it does make in your life, so then you will never allow your children not to get an education. Bhutan is an incredibly mountainous country. We deliver food to 233 schools in every corner of Bhutan. Most of the communities are not connected by road, so we have to resort to mules, oxen and yaks to get the food to the schools.

Lyonfo Mingpo Drukpa: “Yes I think the partnership between the Royal Government and WFP has been excellent.”

Dungkar Drupka: “WFP is proud to be partnered with the minister of education, not only because we are supporting them, but they are also supporting us.”

Lyonfo Mingpo Drukpa “Since 1976, (counts by tens to 2006) now 2013, we are still going strong. But I think the modus operandi has to keep changing. Can we have a mixed mode of a feeding system with the community _________?

Dungkar Drupka: “The next five years will be the most critical because that will be the last phase of WFP’S presence in Bhutan. It will be critical because we have to ensure that what we have been doing for the last 40 years does not suddenly lose momentum. From WFP site, in order to ensure this stability, strengthening of the ______ will be a very important component.”

H.E. Lyonchien Tshering Todgay: “The government of Bhutan is very committed. Our children in the rural areas generally come from poorer families and they need the head start of the school feeding programme.”

Dungkar Drupka: “One good thing about Bhutan is that it’s office is run by national staff and the operational cost is really small. ________ To feed a child one meal, it’s roughly 13 to 14 cents. And these things taken together, it gives you a bit of __________. Since I was myself, a WFP beneficiary, once upon a time, I feel really obliged to ensure that the great work done at WFP is not lost. That will be a great relief to me.