Our Three Schools
Lalafofofo focuses fundraising efforts on three schools in the Moshi, Tanzania area.
In the Spring of 2015, lunch programs were put in place by Lalafofofo.org in the Mlima Shabaha and Sanya Station public elementary schools, benefitting more than 600 children whose families cannot afford to provide lunch for their children. In October 2015, we added the Tindegani Public School to our lunch program.
Studies from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that short-term hunger resulting from the lack of school meal programs among Tanzanian school children causes significant problems linked to elevated absenteeism, attention problems, and early school dropouts.
Mlima Shabaha School
Mlima Shabaha Shule (School) Elementary school is located in about an hour from Moshi, Tanzania. Sam Vaughan, son of Lalafofofo.org founders Laura and Brannan Vaughan, learned that students at Mlima Shabaha School had nothing to eat during the long school days, so he decided to support a school lunch program for the students. While focusing on the project, Sam learned that simply serving lunch can have a transformative effect; school attendance and student performance. He committed to raising $1,500 each year for the foreseeable future, to buy enough corn, beans, salt and oil for 150 students to receive a school lunch every day throughout the academic year.
Lalafofofo’s student lunch program at the Mlima Shabaha School feeds almost 400 students every day.
Sanya Station School
In addition to Lalafofofo’s student lunch program, the Sanya Station School in the remote village of Boma Ng’ombe is the focus of our “Build a Sanya Station School Kitchen” project. Sanya Station public school has 455 students and five teachers. While our lunch program is making sure that locally produced beans and “ugali” (corn porridge), salt, and oil are provided to cook student lunches, they’re currently cooked over an open fire in a shed next to the school’s “play yard.”
Lalafofofo hopes to raise $1,650 to build an enclosed kitchen on the property.
Tindegani Public School, also near Boma Ng’ombe Tanzania, is the third public school in the region to receive a Lalafofofo.org-sponsored lunch program. The region is populated by the Maasai who stay in the area mainly during the rainy seasons. During the region’s dry season, the male Maasai pastoralists move with the cattle to other areas in order to find food for them, leaving the area with only women, children and elderly Maasai. During famine or farming periods when food is scarce, many children forego school in search of food or income to buy food.
Dropout rates also increase significantly among school children who do not receive lunch. Thanks to our fundraising efforts and donations from the U.S. and Europe, Lalafofofo is determined to make sure Tindegani school’s 200 students will come to school knowing they will be fed. For many, it is their only meal of the day.
Research from the World Health Organization has found that 50 to 70 percent of students in different parts of Tanzania go to school without breakfast, and receive no meal during the school day. The consequences of short-term hunger, in the long run, include major nutritional deficiencies, underweight, and “stunting”—a form of growth failure due to chronic malnutrition. Forty percent of Tanzania’s school children have iron deficiency anemia, and at least one-quarter of these students are Vitamin A deficient.
Adding a lunch program to a Tanzanian school provides life-changing nourishment to the students, but also comes with an obligation to improve school building and infrastructure. This is best accomplished by adding a safe, functioning kitchen and additional bathrooms—projects that Lalafofofo volunteers are currently working on at two of the schools.
To address the problem of stunting, Lalafofofo.org will also be adding vitamins and nutrient fortifiers to the lunches, a practice that is in line with recommendations from the Gates Foundation, UNICEF, and multiple UN organizations.
The 501(c)3 non-profit is operating consistently with the "four pillars" guidelines of the Feed the Children organization. The guidelines advocate initially feeding the children, then fixing run-down conditions in the schools and then introducing self-subsisting projects to the community that will allow villagers to ultimately help themselves and their schools.
Lalafofofo continues to raise awareness and funds for the villages surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro and to empower U.S. families to participate in global volunteerism through a variety of affordable service projects.