One aspect of school that I am particularly pleased to be a part of is the Feeding Program initiated by my friend, Pema Yangki.
The Feeding Program was developed to provide much-needed nutrition to about 30 students who receive minimal diets at home – mostly potatoes and rice only. Students grow and learn best when their minds and bodies are fed with proper nutrition. So in the Feeding Program, we wanted to provide the students with a protein and nutritional vegetables other than potato, which is the main local crop.
Pema Yangki initially proposed the idea to the parents of our school and requested community support for the program in the form of donations. She was aware that in another school the program is fully run by parents and foods are donated by families. Unfortunately, it appeared that due to a lack of understanding, the families from Khaling were unwilling and/or unable to provide support. Therefore, Pema Yangki decided to look for support from our teachers.
The school teachers pulled through and originally scheduled themselves to provide the meals every other week. Then I (Angie) was able to obtain a donation from the USA and finally we were able to feed the students once a week. Once the program started Pema Yangki was able to gain additional support from the local shopkeepers and restaurants, saving our teachers from having to spend some of their meager salaries on food for the children. She has even brought in donors through Facebook and we are able to provide these students every week with one nutritious meal.
The students are happy to get such a filling meal and many come for seconds. Some students look so forward to the meal that they are asking what the menu will be! One boy even showed up late this week, tears in his eyes for fear that he’d missed his lunch – tears that soon disappeared when he was told there was still plenty for him. It’s a great program that Pema Yangki started and I feel so pleased to be a part of it and to be able to help out.