Rotary Sunset initiates breakfast programme | THE DAILY HERALD

Rotary Sunset President Jaida Nisbett and the school’s Adjunct Manager Sandra Mathew sign the memorandum of understanding as club and school representatives look on.

PHILIPSBURG–In recognition of Maternal and Child Health Month, Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset initiated its first breakfast programme at Marie Genevieve de Weever School in an effort to tackle the ongoing concern of child hunger within the schools.

Rotary Sunset reached out to the school to ascertain the number of pupils who are not fortunate to bring their lunches to school and who often have difficulty focusing in class as a result of not having had breakfast and learned that at least 50-plus pupils faced challenges with hunger on a daily basis.

Rotary Sunset decided to initiate a breakfast programme within the school to provide daily breakfast for those pupils in need. Representatives of Marie Genevieve de Weever School and Rotary Sunset gathered to sign the official memorandum of understanding whereby the two parties agreed that Rotary Sunset would provide funding to purchase the necessary food items to prepare the daily meals.

Proper nutrition among children is essential to ensure healthy growth, proper organ formation and function, a strong immune system, and neurological and cognitive development. Child malnutrition is known to have an adverse effect on children’s cognitive function and despite global efforts to combat child hunger, it remains rampant in many undeveloped and developing countries.

UNICEF estimates that 3.1 million children die each year from undernutrition, which accounts for more than half of global child deaths. Undernutrition often leaves children vulnerable to numerous illnesses and diseases.

Marie Genevieve de Weever School Adjunct Manager Sandra Mathew said, “We would like to thank Rotary Sunset for initiating this much-needed programme for the pupils. This has become a major concern in our school and the teachers oftentimes have to reach into their own pockets to ensure that their pupils get something to eat. We are truly grateful for your assistance and I am sure the pupils will greatly appreciate it.”

An estimated 66 million primary-school-age children attend classes hungry in many developing countries, according to World Food Programme. This is an alarming number and it is even more alarming to learn that numerous children in St. Maarten face the same ordeal.

“We understand the urgency to reach out to those in need in our communities, but it is not something we can do alone. Initiating this breakfast programme will allow us to provide a nutritious breakfast for those pupils in need at Marie Genevieve de Weever School. However, there are many more instances of child hunger at most of the schools on the island. Through this programme we hope to inspire other business partners to get on board with this initiative so we can put an end to child hunger on our island,” said Rotary Sunset President Jaida Nisbett.

Source: The Daily Herald