‘I live in Edinburgh with my husband, 2 children and one springer spaniel. My children are at primary school and have full lives with plenty of activities. They certainly could not enjoy the things they do every day without regular meals and snacks (the adults and dog in our family have similar needs to be refuelled regularly!
I cannot imagine a child making it through a school day on an empty stomach, but this is reality for over one third of primary age children in Kamuli Uganda.
When I was visiting Kamuli to undertake medical work, I found out that although primary education is free, the uptake is nowhere near 100%, and part of the reason for this is the lunch problem. One third of the children attending school are unable to bring money or food to school, and so go hungry during the day making it very difficult to stay awake, concentrate, work or be happy when they are hungry. Many will leave at midday or fall asleep. It is distressing for the teachers to be unable to give food to hungry children.
I hate the idea that children are going hungry and have to watch other children eat when they cannot.The medical work I do in Kamuli is trying to repair girls and women injured in childbirth – often because they are chronically malnourished and too small for safe deliveries. Lack of medical care when they run into problems causes their baby to die and them to be left with horrible injuries, which are challenging to fix and unfixed lead to social isolation. I hope that improving nutrition, education and opportunities for girls growing up in Uganda will reduce the number of young would-be mothers having such a traumatic end to their dreams of family life.
I have been welcomed by the warm and hospitable people of Kamuli many times when visiting to undertake surgical camps in the past, and hope to carry on my
friendship and work with the people of the hospital, school and town for years to come.’
‘I live in East Lothian, east of Edinburgh, with my husband and two teenage children who regularly eat us out of house and home! Sharing food together whether breakfast, lunch or dinner and often with family and friends is a huge part of enjoying life we could not imagine being without.
I have been a doctor in Edinburgh for the last 23 years, working in newborn intensive care. The role of health and nutrition in early life and how these later impact on a child’s potential is an everyday concern in my work. By being able to improve learning, health and wellbeing by simply raising money for a lunch at school seems an easy way to build a child’s future.’
Food has always been at the centre of our family and social life. As a little girl, the kitchen became a parent free zone on Sunday afternoons and we were left to produce many culinary delights, as well as many culinary disasters!
We all want the best for our children and raising funds through SLK by simply providing a nutritious meal allows us to enhance the lives of those children attending St Theresa’s.’
‘I live on the outskirts of Edinburgh with my husband and three children. As a consultant paediatrician I am constantly reminded at work of the importance of regular healthy food to support children’s development and help all young minds reach all their potential.
My own children were born small for their age and premature, but happily in a country where food is so plentiful, are now thriving. I passionately believe that all children have the right to reach their potential and hope through this charity we can help the school girls of Kamuli to reach theirs.’