KAMONYI - The national schools feeding programme last week received a major boost of 23 hybrid cows, from the World Food Programme (WFP).
The donation worth US$31,000 is to benefit primary schools from nine districts across the country.
Speaking at the handover ceremony in Kamonyi district, State Minister for Education, Theoneste Mutsindashaka, urged parents to think about birth control methods and work to effectively look after their children.
The tough talking ex-governor, emphasised that children should also be taught practical lessons and skills development in addition to teaching them the importance of love for their country.
The donation is also part of government’s initiative which seeks to ensure that each household has at least one cow and a 5 year programme by the World Food Programme (WFP) to develop a national school feeding programme in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MINIDUC).
Mutsindashaka thanked WFP for the support and challenged the beneficiaries to use the chance and attain economic independence.
He highlighted the challenge of keeping young children united to avoid a repeat of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and the need of combined efforts to raise the bigger part of Rwandans who still live in abject poverty.
“If there was love in this country there would never have been a Genocide. This remains a big challenge that children need to understand,” he said.
“We also need to teach them the need to work hard and avoid depending on other people.”
While handing over the cows, WFP Country Director Abdoulaye Balde expressed commitment to supporting the government of Rwanda to ensure that schools and the community are able to sustain themselves.
“We are committed to help the government of Rwanda in its drive to ensure that food and nutrition security is realized for all Rwandans. In addition to the cows, some WFP-assisted schools and their communities have established school gardens with combined support from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation,” Balde said.
Last year, a 5-year food for education programme was approved to support 350,000 school children in 300 schools.
This programme is in line with the Government of Rwanda’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).