St Mary’s Primary School students now have a brand-new covered dining hall thanks to a generous donation from Grand Circle Foundation (GCF) and their OAT guests. Prior to the construction of the dining hall students ate their lunch sitting on the ground. Due to low rainfall in this arid region, grass coverage is poor, the ground is very dusty with many parasites, which if consumed cause major intestinal problems in these children who often suffer from malnutrition. Thus, for hygienic reasons, the hall was constructed, students now have a sanitary place to eat their lunch.
When not in use at mid-morning break and lunch time, the dining hall doubles up as a reading room for the students. It is crucial in this hemisphere to have overhead cover to keep off the sun, and as rainfall is sporadic and only occurs for three months a year, having open sides keeps it ventilated and cool in the hot months. Furthermore, the hall is also used by the women’s group who sew products to sell for income generation.
With so many uses, the dining hall will make a significant difference to these students – both as a place to further their reading skills and as a place to eat. Thank you to GCF – we are hugely grateful for their generous donations and continued support.