Chinese charity expands school feeding program in Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) expanded its school feeding program in Ethiopia on Thursday to 517 students of the Metebaber primary school in Addis Ababa.
The school feeding program launched three years ago jointly with Ye Enat Weg Charitable Association, a local charity organization, headed by Ethiopia's former first lady Roman Tesfaye has so far fed over 4,070 students across Ethiopia.
Speaking at the opening of the latest school feeding program, Wu Peng, Director of International Development Department at CFPA, said the program will be executed without fear or favor to all students.
"This is the first school where we covered all the students, rather than picking up some of the poor student in the school. No one is left behind, and no one feels different. Children's psychological health has always been our concern during our planning and implementation of the project," said Wu.
Wu said since the school feeding program was launched three years ago, he has noticed a notable improvement in the school children's health and wellbeing.
Established in 1989 and having commenced its support at international level since 2004, the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation has carried out aid projects in 14 countries.
Wu's assessment was shared by Tesfaye who has been a strong driving force behind the school feeding program, which has steadily expanded across the country in the last three years.
"We have seen an improvement in our students' situations, with students stopping fainting in classes, being more attentive in class and starting to score good grades and being promoted to next grades with distinction while in the mean time being a source of happiness for teachers and community at large," said Tesfaye.
"Child Malnutrition can have lifelong consequences making the individual vulnerable to communicable and non-communicable diseases, the individual will have weak immunity to deal with illnesses, and will adversely impact his or her productivity and knowledge gaining abilities, that's why we are working to realize proper nutrition in Ethiopia," she further said.
The school feeding program launched at Metebaber primary school has already made the life of a lively third grader Yidedia Tewodros easier. "It's very good that they started school feeding program in our school, my house is a bit far away from the school, so I used to come to class late but now that has been changed," said Tewodros.
Despite her young age, Tewodros is thinking far in the future, where one day she hopes to be a philanthropist for needy school children when she reaches adult age.
"I want to be a doctor in the future, and with the salary I earn as a doctor I plan to help needy school children," Tewodros said.