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People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.


How did your school lunch compare?

Flickr: Ross Pollack

School lunches. As a child I thought having McDonalds and Pizza Hut delivered to school was the ultimate luxury. How things have changed!

For those of us in the developed world, lunch time really wasn’t about the food at all. It was a much needed break from class. It was an opportunity to hang with friends, goof off, and be a kid. And after we ate, we got to play.

Ever wondered how your school lunch stacked up to others from around the world? Have a look:

1. Malawi

Flickr: WFPCrispin Hughes

In this photo, mothers prepare likuni phala, a porridge made of maize to a line of hungry kids at Kandani day school.

2. Dominican Republic

Flickr: Presidencia Republica Dominicana

This school provides breakfast and lunch to kids.

3. Coventry, England

Flickr: Coventry School Council

There’s no better time for some quality girl-talk.

4. Oromia, Ethiopia

Flickr: Unicef Ethiopia

These girls enjoy a free lunch prepared at Tutus Primary School.

5. Haiti

Flickr: ACDI-CIDA-Jean-François Leblanc

Thanks to a Canadian funded-project managed by the World Food Programme, these girls are among 400,000 school children in Haiti who receive one nutritious meal per day

6. India

Flickr: Bread for the World- Jim Stipe

Always a fan of lemon rice.

7. Laos

Flickr: World Bank/ Bart Verwejj

These kids get to enjoy healthy, traditional, Lao meals thanks to volunteers from the community.

8. Osun, Nigeria

Flickr: Gates Foundation

The Lyiola Matanmi School of Osogbo participates in the Osun State Home-Grown School Feeding Program which was designed to improve the nutritional-status of children.

9. Bangkok, Thailand

Flickr: grrrrl

Why do round trays make lunch look so much more appealing?

10. Kasamu-Kyali, Mpigi, Uganda

Flickr: RIBI image library

The Bujo Primary School, like others in the area, provides students with a porridge lunch 5 days a week thanks to support from the Rotary International Foundation and other organizations.

11. Virginia, USA

Flickr: USDA/ Lance Cheung

Like most American schools, students at the Yorkshire Elementary School know no lunch is complete without a mini-carton of milk.

Of course, for children living in poverty school lunch is far more significant than just an opportunity to socialize and relax between classes. For some of them, what is served at school could be the only thing they eat all day. It might very well be the incentive for going to school at all.

The Global Partnership for Education acknowledges this. Rather than taking a "one size fits all" approach, GPE takes into account the nuances of each community when developing educational programs. Laos is a prime example of this.

In Laos, endemic poverty has been shown to hinder the educational success of children, particularly rural girls from ethnic minorities, with only 7 out of 10 students completing primary school.. Recognizing that education, food security, and health were all crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty, the government initiated an ambitious plan: with the support of GPE, Laos began providing nutritious school meals in order to improve attendance, and improve learning.

As of 2013, this program has covered 227 schools, benefiting 19,098 little ones. We’ve seen increased school enrollment (especially for girls), more students transitioning on to secondary school, improved nutritional status amongst kids, and decreased spending in households. Talk about a win-win.

It’s programs like this that get us so pumped about the Global Partnership for Education. They’re connecting the dots to ensure that all students receive a quality education that meets their specific needs. Our job, as Global Citizens, is to support them.

Join me in signing the petition to show world leaders you support GPE.


Christina Nuñez