In April 2014, we began our pilot program in Monrovia, Liberia. Our president Janet Gboluma-Kaloji collaborated with Lolognta Preschool in Fiamah. We provided school supplies and teachers material for their preschool, and provided technical assistants. We also coached the teachers on early reading strategies for few weeks.
Currently: The Lolognta and Fiamah community preschools serves children from disadvantaged home and provides one meal during school hours which is 8am to 3pm. This is the 1 meal time.
Observation: Our observation on this visit at both schools was very heart breaking to see several students surrounding another child who brought a roll of bread from home to eat for breakfast. She also noticed the children didn’t eat any meal from 8am until 12pm; at 12pm the school provided children with rice and beans for lunch. Families are required to pay $400 Liberian dollars equivalent to $5 US dollar a month for school lunch. About 50% of the families are unable to afford this: leaving the program short of funding for meals.
Our program goal is to establish a consistent and an effective meal plan for 2015 and 2016 school.
The Ebola Epidemic has led shortage on farming and food importation to Liberia. Current statistics shows that 85% of households in Liberia are eating fewer meals a day as a way to deal with lower incomes and higher prices related to the Ebola epidemic. First Five Years & Beyond is working to support the most vulnerable in coping with this new challenge