USAID AGP-Livestock Market Development Project Promotes Milk at Schools in Four Regions
Mekelle, Tigray, October 20, 2014 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Feed the Future Initiative for food security and nutrition, today kicked off the first of five school milk day events in four regions at the SOS School in Mekelle, capital of Tigray Region. A second school milk day will be held in Adigrat, Tigray at St. Angela elementary school on October 25th.
The campaign is to raise awareness and knowledge of the importance of milk for nutrition among school-age children, their parents and teachers. Campaign events promote drinking boiled or pasteurized milk for normal growth and development and encourage government and school officials to develop school milk programs across Ethiopia.
Schools participating in the events receive information packets and T-shirts about the benefits of consuming milk. Milk cups are also given as prizes for winners of different quizzes about milk. To expose children to milk and new dairy products, samples are freely distributed at the events.
Gary Robbins, a USAID Ethiopia official said, “School Milk Day is designed to educate children and parents about the importance of protein in milk and other dairy products for their growth and development. Their wellbeing is critical to Ethiopia’s advancement. Also, an increase in consumption of local dairy products by the next generation of Ethiopians will not only improve their nutrition but also benefit the growth of the dairy industry.
With the promotional support of USAID’s Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development (AGP-LMD’s) project, School Milk Day also will be commemorated in schools in Amhara, Oromia, and SNNP in October and November in collaboration with local government and school officials.
School Milk Day is celebrated in many countries. Since September 2000, the event has grown to become an annual celebration in more than 40 countries around the world including Ethiopia.