NBS Bank has said it is committed to supporting the primary school feeding program because it believes the program can accelerate primary school education in the country.
NBS Bank Head of Marketing and Customer Experience Tamanda Ng’ombe said in a statement that the Bank committed K20 million towards Mary’s Meals’ school feeding programme for four years because among other things, the program will help to keep children in school.
“The dropout rate and absenteeism of school pupils reduces significantly whilst the pass rate rises when a meal is provided because it increases their concentration in the classroom,” said Ng’ombe.
Speaking recently during the commemoration of World Porridge Day in Blantyre, Mary Meals, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Communications Mona Lisa Bandawe said the organization recognizes the magic in a cup of porridge, especially to children.
“That cup of porridge changes the children’s lives, especially in rural areas and those in urban areas but are hungry every day. When they have that cup of porridge it makes them active in class, and also gives them the energy to do their work.”
“Mary Meals Malawi is currently feeding over one million children, but with other partners, we are reaching up to 40 percent of school-going children which means 60 percent of children in Malawi still need to be reached with food at school,” said Bandawe.
In his remarks, Blantyre City South Constituency member of parliament Noel Lipipa asked those interested in funding school feeding programs to join hands with Mary Meals.
“We don’t need to have many school feeding programs, Mary Meals has demonstrated to us as Malawians that they can effectively handle this program,” said Lipipa.
Standard Eight learner at the school, Astice Banda, thanked Mary Meals for the feeding program.
“This cup of porridge has helped so many learners that used to abscond classes because they were hungry,” she said.
World Porridge Day was established by Mary Meals in 2009 and is celebrated annually on October 10.