Providing healthy school breakfasts in Bolivia

The first meal of the day is reckoned to be the most important, especially for children, but I heard from locals in the remote, rural district of Aroma, Bolivia, that school kids are turning up for class empty and hungry. This happens because they are too poor to afford breakfast, and it makes it impossible for them to concentrate on lessons, and their grades are suffering as a result.

However, two of Practical Action’s projects have come up with an innovative, and sustainable, solution.

One is a women’s collective which turns milk into yoghurt and cheese, to sell within the community. Practical Action trained them in dairy work, and more importantly, provided irrigation technology so their cows are well-nourished enough to produce milk.

The other is a social enterprise a few miles away, which makes cereal bars from quinua, a South American grain, mixed with natural ingredients like honey and raisins. Practical Action helped them establish the business, and supplied the necessary machinery.

Together, the groups approached Aroma’s mayor, and now they have government funding to provide yoghurt and quinua bars to 2,600 school children. They are excited not only by the commercial opportunity, but also by the fact that local kids will now eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast, and their school results will improve. I was excited to know that those breakfasts would be locally produced, and would support two great community enterprises, making them more sustainable.

And I must admit, having sampled both the yoghurt and the cereal bars, I wish my breakfast was as tasty!

One response to “Providing healthy school breakfasts in Bolivia”

  1. Laura Says:

    It’s a sad truth that many families the money to afford for their child to have breakfast but hearing about how the community is banding together to save this kids restores faith in humanity.

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