” Thanks to the NUTRISCO Club, we produce and consume locally!”. This is the slogan repeated by 225 students who volunteered this year to participate in the NUTRISCO Club activities, sharing their satisfaction and pride.
For several years, SOS SAHEL has set up NUTRISCO Clubs, which have been successful in Burkina Faso and Chad, and now in Senegal!
What is a NUTRISCO Club?
A NUTRSICO Club is created within a school by volunteer students and teachers who are trained in nutrition and market gardening. Students meet and learn good nutrition, hygiene and agricultural practices through playful and interactive exercises. In addition to learning, the NUTRISCO Club creates a school garden so that students can learn to grow their own produce. The harvests from the school gardens are used to supply the cafeterias with fresh fruits and vegetables, thus promoting a more varied and balanced diet for the students.
Through this educational program, children put their learning to practice and becoming “little ambassadors of nutrition”. They can then share this knowledge with their communities. These clubs represent a real educational tool to fight malnutrition on a large scale.
Quality local food, in abundance, thanks to the NUTRISCO Clubs
Since the launch of the NUTRISCO Clubs in Senegal in 2021, with the support of Kinder in Not and the BEL Foundation, SOS SAHEL and its local partners have set up 9 NUTRISCO Clubs in 9 primary schools in three southeastern regions: Kolda, Tambacounda and Kedougou. In total, 225 students participated in these activities, half of which are girls.
The first school gardens were set up in February 2021. Each school has been provided with a small amount of gardening equipment and seeds. The first harvests took place in May and are still in motion. Students were excited to taste the result of their hard work.
“We now have quality food in abundance. Before it was difficult to get even one sorrel leaf. We had to travel quite far, and it was expensive. Our cafeteria’s served mainly rice, oil and milk. Today, we have lettuce, okra, sorrel, cucumber, corn…” says Mr. Mballo, Teacher and Head of the NUTRISCO Club at Mamadou Egué (commune of Sinthiang Koundara in the Kolda region).
During the next school year, 1,500 students from all 9 schools will discover and participate in NUTRISCO Clubs.
“I am so proud of the school garden and the plants that we have been able to grow with these students. We are thinking of rewarding the best students for their motivation” says Mr. Sagna, Director of Madina Mamadou Elementary School (Missirah in the region of Tambacounda).
The healthy development of students relies on enriched and varied school meals. These meals provide nutrition and energy, which helps students concentrate and learn. But that’s not the only benefit, they also provide a strong incentive for parents to send their sons and daughters to school, improving enrolment and retention rates.