Improving human life through nature: moringa enriched meals distribution in schools’ canteens in Togo

Article du 28 September 2022

For more than 10 years now, Kinomé has been participating in the deployment and structuring of the moringa sector in a territorial approach in Togo to enable the improvement of people’s living conditions. To achieve this, Kinomé coordinates an integrated project from moringa planting to its distribution and consumption in two school canteens.

Discovering moringa : what is it?

Originally from India, the Moringa Oleifera is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree that is widespread in all subtropical regions. Moringa can play a key role in fighting against food insecurity, environmental problems and in improving socio-economic development.

The moringa industry has many advantages:

Moringa consumption helps to improve nutritional status, especially for children. Indeed, moringa leaves are rich in proteins, iron, calcium and vitamins (A and C). Its production allows to reinforce the vegetation cover and to improve the income of the producers.

Kinomé’s school canteen project in Togo

In 2017, with the aim of improving the nutritional status of school-age children, Kinomé initiated the distribution of moringa in two Public Primary Schools (EPP) in the Agou prefecture in Togo.  Indeed, thanks to the support of Oresys, a management, organisation and information systems consulting company, Kinomé, with its local partner CADO, has made it possible to distribute 5 moringa enriched meals per week to 350 pupils aged 2 to 12 years old in two EPPs in Amavénou and Wonougba-Séva. In six years of support, more than 250,000 meals have been served, improving the nutritional status of the children.

The nutritionists following the project have already been able to make the following qualitative observations:

  • positive changes in physical appearance (thicker hair, brighter skin)
  • children who are more cheerful and attentive in class and improved school results

In addition to the nutritional benefits, the distribution of a daily meal at school encourages parents to send their children to school and thus improves the schooling rate in the neighbouring villages.

Involved actors

This project could not work without the involvement of the headmasters, the teaching staff, and the canteen mothers. Indeed, organised in groups of 4 or 5, the canteen mothers devote several hours each day to meals preparation and distribution to the children. Volunteers for more than five years, the canteen mothers are now compensated because the time spent in the canteen cannot be spent in the fields or on other income-generating activities.

In order to encourage the involvement of the parents and to promote sustainability, the communities are active stakeholders in this project by forming the management committees but also by contributing to their children’s meals (money or foods).

Involved actors

In addition to supplying the school canteens, Kinomé also listens to the school needs. For several years, the director of the Amavénou EPP has insisted on the need to build a borehole within the school so that the pupils have access to a quantity of drinking water and that the canteen mothers also have access to it for the preparation of meals.

In April 2022, thanks to the financial support of the Eurofins Foundation and Bleu Vert, and with the support of the Direction Régionale de l’Hydraulique de la Région des Plateaux, Kinomé was able to build a borehole in the schoolyard. Kinomé also facilitates meetings between financial partners and schools. Thanks to this, the EPP of Amavénou should soon be equipped with three classrooms and a sanitary block.

Perspectives and conclusion

The model developed by Kinomé and its partners is constantly evolving to meet the challenge of sustainability. The next steps are identified: installation of food gardens to produce fruits and vegetables and thus diversify the meals, development of local products-based recipes that are nutritionally rich and adapted to consumption habits, deployment of the model to make the benefits of moringa available to as many people as possible…

In order to continue the distribution of meals in the schools of Amavénou and Wonougba-Séva and to improve and deploy the existing model, Kinomé is constantly looking for partners. If you wish to participate in the improvement of children’s nutrition in Togo, do not hesitate to contact us!