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    Food Security

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Project Background

Many families in rural Cambodia depend on farming for their livelihoods, however the region is susceptible to erratic weather events like floods or droughts. When crops fail due to these events, it can mean that families don't have enough food to eat and children go to school hungry. The adverse affects of this hunger can mean that children stay home or are unable to focus on schoolwork; causing them to fall behind or drop out of school all together.

The project seeks to address this issue by providing food and training to effected areas in order to reduce the impact food shortage can have on these children and their families.

Project Details

The School Vegetable Garden Program has been successfully implemented in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) across four provinces in Cambodia; Siem Reap, Kompong Thom, Battambang and Oddar Meanchey. The program included the direct distribution of food and meals to those in need, as well as capacity building and preventative initiatives; health and nutrition training, safe food storage, prevention of malnutrition and establishment of vegetable gardens

Project Outcomes

The project has managed to reach out to 1016 primary schools in the key regions, supporting a total of 244,640 students. Specific outcomes achieved by the program include:

  • 150,593 students directly benefiting from the school feeding program, ensuring they receive at least one nutritious meal a day
  • 14,717 students from poor families selected to take home food rations
  • 3,001 children council representatives trained on their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the sustainability of the program
  • 1,767 teachers trained in good health and nutrition, as well as how to identify and prevent malnutrition
  • 615 school vegetable gardens established with seed support
  • 153 training sessions on food commodities management - how to safely store and ration food

Measuring Success

The project has detailed monitoring and evaluation systems in place which enable it to track participants and measure the programs success against very detailed markers.

For example, even where schools provided breakfast it was reported that 683 students out of 2,379 were not eating it. Further investigation found that for 34% of these it was because they forgot to bring a plate. Additionally, only 1766 students out of 4017 reported they regularly washed their hands with soap before eating.

By tracking and continuing to focus on increased awareness and training to address these markers, the organisers can improve the quality and effectiveness of program implementation in the future.

What next?

The project will continue into 2016 and, due to its success, is being looked at by the Government of Cambodia as a model they want to replicate throughout the country.

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