Ghana School Feeding, AUDA-NEPAD train caterers to Mark International Women's Day

Social News Ghana School Feeding, AUDA-NEPAD train caterers to Mark International Women's Day
MAR 11, 2023 LISTEN

The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has in collaboration with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) commemorated the International Women’s Day in Ghana with capacity building training for women in the area of nutrition and innovative cooking for the implementation of the Home-grown School Feeding programme.

The training which was sponsored by AUDA-NEPAD with support from the World Food Programme (WFP-Ghana), was held for about 200 selected caterers from the various districts in the Greater Accra Region to build their digital capacity and promote their leadership skills.

Dignitaries present at the event held at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra included the Deputy Minister for Gender, Hon. Francisca Oteng Mensah, Deputy National Coordinator of Ghana School Feeding Programme, Mr. Kwadwo Abass Acquah, Senior Programme Officer, Gender for AUDA-NEPAD, Mrs. Jessica Annor, Senior Nutrition Officer and Project Manager at AUDA-NEPAD, Mrs. Kefilwe Roba Moalosi, Director of Operations for Ghana School Feeding Programme and other development partners and stakeholders.

The training for the selected Caterers was an addition to the previous nutrition and innovative cooking trainings organized in 11 out of the 16 regions by the Ghana School Feeding Programme national secretariat in 2019 led by Mrs. Gertrude Quashigah with sponsorship from the World Food Programme (WFP) and AUDA-NEPAD.

Addressing the participants, the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Francisca Oteng Mensah lauded the AUDA-NEPAD, WFP and the Ghana School Feeding National Secretariat for the efforts in acknowledging the roles and contributions of women in ensuring that children in deprived public basic schools are properly fed with nutritious meal on every school going day.

She was optimistic that, the caterers who had benefited from the training would use what they had learnt to impact their colleague caterers to enhance their cooking skills. Mrs. Oteng Mensah also lauded the ruling Government for sustaining the school feeding programme which now feeds about 3.8 million children from deprived schools in Ghana.

The Deputy National Coordinator of GSFP, Mr. Kwadwo Abass Acquah in a speech read for the National Coordinator of GSFP, Mrs. Gertrude Quashigah gave an overview of the programme and what it was created to achieve.

He noted that, the Ghana School Feeding Programme in the last one and half decades has achieved its objectives of increasing enrolment, attendance and retention; and reducing hunger and malnutrition among pupils.

The Senior Programme Officer, Gender for AUDA-NEPAD, Mrs. Jessica Annor reminded the people about the benefits of the AUDA-NEPAD’s Home-grown School Feeding programme which include reducing poverty, alleviating hunger, providing nutritious school meal, ensuring high enrolment and retention among others.

Calling on women to help other women at all levels, Mrs. Annor encouraged people especially men to also “be on the women’s S.I.D.E” by providing Support - through financing, mentoring and coaching the women; and by Individualizing the women – where women are treated or supported on their needs basis, but not where they are all put in one box by the support systems.

She also advocated the need for some Discussions with the women to appreciate the burdens or loads they carry in the homes or society and offer the needed support; and lastly to ensure that the women are Elevated by making men to have more knowledge about the difficulties women go through so that they can help champion the interest of women.

A Senior Nutrition Officer and Project Manager at AUDA-NEPAD, Ms. Kefilwe Moalosi said that the Home-grown School Feeding Programme being spearheaded in Africa by AUDA-NEPAD, is meant to alleviate hunger, to help increase attendance and enrolment, reduce dropout rates, and ensure that children lean and perform better in school.

She called on member state governments to invest more in the Home-grown School Feeding Programme which she indicated, is promoting what local farmers are producing, creating ready markets for farmers to supply the caterers/schools, and promoting local food production and consumption.

Touching on the theme for the celebration “Celebrating Women and Empowering Communities Through Innovative Digital Tools for the Home-grown School Feeding Programme”, Mrs. Moalosi noted that a new digital platform has been introduced to improve the quality of the existing school menu in order to prepare balanced diets and prevent food wastage.

The National President of the Ghana School Feeding Programme Caterers Association, Mrs. Charlotte Asante who was one of the beneficiary caterers expressed the gratitude of her colleagues to the organisers of the training.

She indicated that this is the second time they are receiving such training from the school feeding management. She was however excited that “this particular one touched more on food storage and preservation especially when foods are in season."

Edmond Gyebi
Edmond Gyebi

News ContributorPage: EdmondGyebi