Children in the Wilderness would like to express grateful thanks to the management and staff of the Africa Adventure Company (AAC) in the USA for their generous donation towards the Nutrition Programme in Zimbabwe. The CITW Nutrition Programme is run in the schools of three community villages in the Tsholotsho area on the borders of Hwange National Park. Supplies of mealie meal, sugar beans, salt and cooking oil for these schools are sent in every two weeks; current costs are approximately US$1100 per delivery and the food provided ensures that approximately 758 school children and 25 teachers receive a nutritious meal each school day for the third term of the year. This is the hottest and most hungry time for children in this drought-ridden area as the meagre harvests are depleted and there is little chance of growing anything before December when hopefully the annual rains arrive. Without this food many children are too weak, sick and unable to walk the 5-10km distances to attend school each day, as a result absenteeism is high and concentration levels very low.
The implementation of the Nutrition Programme improves the general health and well-being of children attending school in rural areas. Attendance and concentration levels increase dramatically and improvements in the nutritional status of the children is hugely noticeable. The eco-gardening introduced in schools by Children In The Wilderness also helps to supplement and bring a nutritional balance to these meals which we hope will lead to sustainability of this programme in the future thus taking pressure off donors.. Active community involvement is vital and parents volunteer their assistance on a roster-basis to assist the schools with preparation of the food each day.