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Lidia's story

“I feel hungry but I have to persevere.”

13-year-old Lidia mentions perseverance frequently as she describes life in Dagoretti, a slum district on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.

Lidia is the eldest of five children, and she and her siblings have to skip meals regularly because their mother Catherine cannot afford to buy food despite working long hours washing clothes. And when the family does eat, they are only able to use cheap, basic ingredients which lack the range of vital nutrients the children need to be healthy. 

Often the only daily meal Lidia gets is the one she receives at her school. Lidia explains:

“The last time I ate at home was three day ago. My mum can’t be paid every day, so we have to wait because she doesn’t have money. We only have dinner three times a week and often the only meal I have is at school.”

“I find it hard to go without food. I cannot concentrate in class, I feel cold and my head hurts a lot. My eyes start to ache and I cannot see the blackboard clearly. I love school and my favorite subject is English but sometimes I do not come because I have a headache.”

Sadly, this isn’t only a problem for Lidia. Her School Principal, Jane Waweru, told us that 85-90% of the pupils at Mutuini Primary School don’t get enough to eat and are often too weak to concentrate in class.

Although the school does provide a daily serving of rice and beans, the lunch lacks the important additional ingredients that many children are unable to get at home. Without a regular variety of vegetables, students become malnourished and are at risk of a wide range of serious health problems.

Farm Africa believes that children everywhere deserve a healthy diet so they can grow and reach their full potential. That’s why this #GivingTuesday we are focusing on schools in Nairobi, where we want to help school communities turn unused land into plentiful vegetable gardens where students, teachers and parents can come together to grow nutritious, fresh vegetables for children to eat at lunch.

“I want to do the farming project because it will help my school. It is important to eat vegetables to get vitamins and energy. I love coming to school and when I grow up I want to be a nurse. My grades would improve if I was able to eat more.”

By making a donation to Farm Africa for #GivingTuesday you could help a school set up its own vegetable garden, giving Lidia and children like her the chance to get the nutritious food they need as well as learning practical farming skills that will help them grow a brighter future.