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China's donations keep Kenya students in school with food in their bellies

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | | Updated: 2021-09-15 20:29
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Zhang Yijun, minister counselor at the Chinese embassy in Nairobi, hands over food donations to students at MCEDO Beijing School in Nairobi, Kenya. [Photo by Otiato Opali/]

One of the main challenges affecting students in Kenyan slums is the lack of a decent meal to take one through the day. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to school closures under the tough economic times.

Gladys Achieng, the head teacher at MCEDO Beijing School's primary school section in Nairobi, said her school was specifically affected since they operate in a slum and most students' parents lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Despite this, the Chinese embassy in Kenya and the Kenya-China Economic and Trade Association have been delivering food donations to the school all through the pandemic, including days when schools were closed.

"Words cannot express the joy we have for the support we have received from the Chinese embassy, not just today but all through our existence as a school. The food donations we have been receiving during the pandemic would feed whole families. During the COVID-19 restrictions when schools were closed, the Chinese embassy still carried on with their food contributions and students would pick up the donations for use at home," Achieng said.

In a continuation of this generosity, the Chinese Embassy and association on Tuesday donated more than $7,000 worth of foodstuffs, such as maize, beans, porridge, salt and sugar, to the school. The donation will provide students with free meals for the new semester and also go towards COVID-19 prevention measures at the school.

Benedict Kiage, the director of MCEDO Beijing School, said the donation will keep students in school since they are from vulnerable families where getting their daily meals is a big problem.

"Through your support, the children are able to stay in school and focus on building their future due to the availability of food in our school. We also thank you for delivering COVID-19 prevention gear, which will help us continue fighting this deadly disease. We have enough water with different hand washing points. Our students and teachers are now safe as we struggle to get rid of the pandemic," Kiage said.

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