The JAM International team would like to introduce you to Kadiatu. She is a nine-year-old little girl in year 4 at her school, the Seventh Day Adventist (S. D. A) Primary School in Mafay Village in Sierre Leone. Her parents are subsistence vegetable farmers and reliant on seasonal rains and access to precious resources such as seeds and tools to ensure the family has food.
Often, while Kadiatu’s family is waiting for the vegetables to grow, Kadiatu has had to work for their neighbours to earn a meal and almost every day of her life she arrives at school with an empty tummy.
Kadiatu and her friends would skip classes to forage for palm fruit in the wild forests surrounding her school, resulting in punishment from her teachers for missing lessons.
Kadiatu says, “One day we were in school when we saw a white vehicle driving into the school compound. After it left, our head teacher announced that JAM would start supplying food to our school every day. Volunteers from the community would cook food and serve every pupil during lunch break. We did not believe this, but found the community people talking about it on our way home. I was surprised when I got home and heard people saying in our local languages, “JAM DON CAM, JAM DON CAM” meaning, JAM is here, JAM is here!”
A week or so later Kadiatu received her first meal at school, a hot lunch and a luxury she has never experienced in her short life. She is now able to stay in school without missing lessons to forage for palm fruit. The food security the school lunches have given her enables her to concentrate on her lessons and ensures that she never misses a day of school.
Kadiatu’s school is one of 88 schools in Sierra Leone that receive JAM hunger relief food. Apart from preventing short-term hunger, the programme is designed to help keep children in school so that they are able to receive the education they need to break the cycle of poverty.
If you contribute to JAM International, then you were a part of this life changing programme for Kadiatu!
Learn more about our school feeding and nutrition programmes here: