This week, in conjunction with Deputy Chief of Mission Peter Vrooman’s visit to Arba Minch, the U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program announced the provision of a grant for the school canteen program in Arba Minch, which will be implemented by the Italian Center for Children Aid in collaboration with the community.
The $9,226 award aims to improve the school attendance of 600 children living in Ello and Zigiti Merche kebeles through a school meal program. The grant will fund the construction and equipment for a sustainable school garden program to provide regular lunch for children in area schools.
According to the Italian Center for Children’s assessment, the nearest available school in Arba Minch Zuria woreda is accessible only on foot, and half of the children come from very remote areas, walking 2 to 3 hours to get to school, however very few children can actually afford to bring their lunch. This project will help provide nutritious meals to the students, therefore helping to them in school and enhance their ability to learn. The project will also build the capacity of Parent Teachers Association members through leadership skills training. Upon completion of the project, the school canteen will be handed over to the Parents Teachers Association to ensure its sustainability.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, DCM Peter Vrooman said, “The Small Grants program of the U.S. Embassy has a long term relationship with communities in SNNPR in various development interventions. This project demonstrates the U.S. Embassy’s continued commitment to support community initiatives here and elsewhere in Ethiopia.”