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Eradicating hunger in schools, one slum at a time!

Eradicating hunger in schools, one slum at a time!

Fortify Education Foundation is doing admirable job for the underprivileged. PAKISTAN & GULF ECONOMIST got first-hand information about the activities of this organization which is as follows:

Pakistan is unfortunately a nutritionally challenged country for children. The effects of this are far reaching and are much more pronounced in the disadvantaged segments of the society. In a recent study of nutritional status of children of 5-15 Years of Age in urban slums, the frequency of malnutrition was found to be:38.3% (stunting), 28.5% (wasting), and 17.5% (underweight) – where stunting signifies impaired growth and development, while wasting show low weight for height.

Malnutrition of children results in delaying their physical and mental development that consequently manifests in lower mental sharpness, IQ, motor development, performance in school and much beyond and deep in their adulthood.

In order to combat the menace of malnutrition, Fortify Education Foundation (FEF) was set up as a not-for-profit organization based in Karachi. We, at FEF work for the economically disadvantaged children in Pakistan and it is our goal to contribute towards ensuring the mental and physical growth of our underprivileged children in schools. FEF does this through its School Meal Program (SMP) that provides freshly prepared meals to these children on every school day. The SMP not only provides these children much needed nutrition but also provides an incentive for their parents to send their children to school. The meals are free and provided through the collective contribution of those who share FEF’s vision: “to improve child learning and health by eradicating malnutrition and hunger in underprivileged schools”. We endeavor to spread our program, SMP, throughout all the provinces of Pakistan and have set our goal to be present in each of the province by 2030.

We started our operations in early 2020at a school in Orangi Town, Karachi, where 280 children come to study.We constructed a kitchen in this school for the preparation of the meals with a capacity to serve more than this first school. The Covid period of 2020 and early 2021 was difficult in a lot of ways but we persevered through this time. We added a second school to our program in September 2021 and another one in November 2021. These new additions are both government run schools. Today, in December 2021, we are serving 500 children in three schools, all in Orangi.

Currently the cost of meals per child per month stands at PKR 1500/-, but with the inflation rate it is anticipated to increase.

An old Chinese proverb says, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. We took that proverbial first step, then the second and now the third. Our resolve is stronger than ever to go the thousand miles to reach the goal where every underprivileged child learns and develops to his fullest potential and contributes actively to the wellbeing and happiness of their family and our nations.

The few that have held our hand so far and continue to hold it are the ones who have provided us encouragement and have emboldened us to continue this journey. We know that this march to the promised land of economic and personal prosperity is too daunting to be taken by a few. The actual need is much more especially when every elite area in our nation is attached to a bigger slum where malnutrition exists at every nook and corner. This need can only be fulfilled if like minded people and organizations step up and support by donating. We hope, and are quite sure, that the ripple that has been started by these few will expand to reach you and will continue beyond.

[box type=”note” align=”” class=”” width=””]To join this cause, you can become a member of our organization or donate through the following channels: Website: fefpakistan.org Phone: +923089602202Facebook: www.facebook.com/FEFSMP[/box]

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