School Feeding In Addis Ababa: The Case of Bole Sub-City

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Addis Ababa University


This study investigated the School Feeding Program (SFP) at government schools in Bole Sub-City, Addis Ababa in an anthropological approach. Particularly the research focuses on the experiences of children who lack food, the response of the state and non-state actors to address schoolchildren’s hunger in public schools in Bole Sub-city. A transcendental phenomenology qualitative approach was employed to collect and analyze data. Six public schools were purposely selected. The result of the study indicated that many school children in Bole Sub-city face hunger, some dropping out of schools while others engaging in part-time income-generating labor activities to generate money for food. Some others were frequently absent from school due to hunger. In order to ameliorate the problem, the Addis Ababa city government designed a school feeding program for some of the students from the poorest families. Although the program was at its preliminary phase, the study revealed it increased enrollment rates and students’ participation as well as it reduced dropout rates and the burden of parents to feed their children. This study also indicated sustaining the program requires huge resources and more commitment from the government and its partners. To this end, the program faced resource constraints from the outset. Besides, increasing costs of living and food prices have consumed the program budget where the budget allocated for a child could not cover daily expenses in the current market price for food items. As a result, children who were once enrolled in the SFP were not served according to the menu originally indicated in the program. Furthermore, lack of independent SFP structure at different levels, integration, and sectorial engagement has been obstacles for the program. Finally, the study revealed the need for strong public participation as well as multi-sectorial engagement for program effectiveness and sustainability.



School Feeding In Addis Ababa: The Case of Bole Sub-City