A novel project is leading the way for schools in Uganda to improve the nutrition of pupils and boost their ability to read.
The Rose Charities Hillman Medical Education Fund school garden project teaches children how to grow food but also supplies produce for lunch programs to feed children who come to school hungry.
Two of the items grown, orange sweet potatoes and beans are especially nutritious and help students to learn. The orange flesh of the sweet potatoes is rich in nutrients including Vitamin A which prevents blindness and is essential to fight infections and beans are rich in iron.
Together, the good things in these crops help children who have micronutrient deficiencies because they do not get enough to eat, and as a result not only do they become healthier they learn to read much quicker.
32% of children under 5 in Uganda are Vitamin A deficient. The World Health Organization now endorses school programs such as ours as a way to help undernourished children worldwide, and has said “Cultivating the garden, both literally and figuratively,” is the way to go.