“Hungry Children Cannot Learn”
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. While many of us take the meal for granted in our busy lives, the school children of rural villages beg to differ. On our journey to improve conditions in our first school, Kuched Gaam School, we noticed that students were not fully attentive in class, especially in the morning. We often heard students complaining, “How much longer till lunchtime.” A small survey of six schools determined that 80 percent of the children had nothing to eat for breakfast. To combat this morning angst, Tiny Smiling Faces introduced breakfast everyday that includes milk, khaman, chevda and more. Over the next few weeks we noticed a vast improvement in the children. Students were more focused and alert; additionally, the attendance rate of the school significantly increased. After a few months, improvements in physical health could be seen in each child. Providing breakfast has made a substantial impact on the education and lives of these children.
Tiny Smiling Faces now provides a nutritious breakfast to all of the students it supports. The program has become central in our mission and a hallmark of our success. We are not only determined to provide breakfast to students we support but also encourage others to provide breakfast as well. Our goal is to start a movement in providing breakfast for primary children in all of Gujarat and eventually all of India.
In 2004, the government of India implemented a school meal program designed to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide. This midday meal program has effectively reached 120 million primary school children. While there has been great success in this program, child hunger still persist in India. For many children, the lunch they receive in school is their only meal. Tiny Smiling Faces’ breakfast program will complement government lunches in hopes to further help the next generation.
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