Russia digs deep to feed pupils

Russia’s ambassador to Namibia, Valerii Utkin, said he hopes the donation will assist in alleviating the plight of schoolchildren, who are suffering amid the ongoing drought.

16 July 2019 | Education

652 tonnes of wheat and 51 tonnes of cooking oil valued at N$1.5 million to the education ministry’s school feeding scheme.

The handover ceremony took place on Wednesday at Namib Mills in Windhoek.

Russia’s ambassador to Namibia, Valerii Utkin, said he hopes the donation will assist in alleviating the plight of schoolchildren who are suffering the consequences of the ongoing drought situation in the country.

The school feeding programme reaches out to children who are vulnerable or hail from food-insecure homes and provides them with meals. The project appreciates and encourages parental and community involvement in the preparation these dishes.

Education deputy executive director Charles Kabajani received the donation on behalf of deputy minister Ester Anna Nghipondoka.

“This gesture from the Russian Federation confirms our mutual recognition of the value of education to our children and the leaders of tomorrow,” he said.

“Through school feeding, a significant contribution is made towards us achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (ending hunger) and SDG 4 (to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education), as well as promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

The role of Namib Mills is to store the grain and fortify and process it into pasta, which will then be packaged and thereafter delivered to the designated regional stores.

BaiMankay Sankoh, a representative from the United Nations World Food Programme, outlined the UN goal is to ensure that no child is at school with an empty stomach.

“No single government or organisation can achieve zero hunger alone, especially in a time when natural disasters like droughts are here to reverse some of the gains we have made in ending hunger,” Sankoh said.

He added that through education, Namibia can usher in higher development gains, adding the UN is committed to assisting this achievement.

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