Lauren Bush, a niece to former US President George. W. Bush, once again visited Rwanda and expressed interest in supporting the school feeding programme in Rwanda, and how it can be improved to support a larger number of children.
Lauren is an acclaimed American philanthropist, model, activist and co-founder of FEED organization in 2006, the company produces and sells reversible burlap and organic cotton bags, distributed by World Food Programme (WFP), in support of school feeding operations.
During her five day visit, she visited the Gihembe Refugee Camp, Ministry of Agriculture & Animal Resources and held special talks with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. She had last visited Rwanda five years ago and had keen interest in World Food Programme’s school feeding programs, which reach out to over 350,000 school children.
WFP Programme Officer & Head of Programme Mari Hassinen-Agoya and WFP Country Director & Representative Jean Pierre de Margerie joined Lauren Bush in visiting the Ministry regarding a future partnership and actions to improve school feeding programs.
According to the Permanent Secretary of MINAGRI, Ernest Ruzindaza, malnutrition is not only about the availability of food; malnutrition is linked with education, income levels, and even cultural norms. In Rwandan culture, it is rare that people eat raw vegetables, and due to lack of cooking education amongst rural areas, many valuable nutrients are lost to overcooking.
Therefore, Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Kalibata and WFP’s visitors are eager to discuss different ways school feeding programs can be approached to be sustainable and effective.