LOS ANGELES, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Can better nutrition really improve performance in school? Exam results of Nepalese high-school students in Food For People (FFP), an initiative of The Prem Rawat Foundation, suggest that it does.
Last year, Mina Lama, a student at Adarsha Secondary School near the FFP facility, failed the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exam that all Nepalese must take at the end of the 10th grade to qualify for higher education. Instead of going back to her village, a 90-minute walk from the school, Mina began working at the FFP facility, which also found local accommodations for her. This allowed her to take extra classes at the school, and this year she was one of 13 Adarsha students out of 19 from her school to pass the challenging exam—a 68% success rate, far exceeding the national average of 41.5%.
That's particularly significant considering that this is only the second year local students have been eligible for the SLC. When FFP Nepal opened in the tiny mountain hamlet of Tasarpu four years ago, Adarsha offered education only through the 7th grade. Thanks in part to grants from TPRF's partner organization, Premsagar Nepal, to help cover the salaries of additional teachers, the school has now added grades 8 through 10, giving its students the opportunity to complete a secondary-school education.
The impact of FFP can also be measured by an increase in enrollment––from fewer than 275 students in 2009 to 417 today. Next year, the school plans to offer "10+2," higher-level education, once only available in private schools, so that its graduates can continue studies in their own village.
A University of California pediatrics study states that "food insufficiency is a serious problem affecting children's ability to learn." FFP programs that provide healthy meals daily to children in impoverished communities are seen as a link to better school attendance and improved performance.
FFP was established by Prem Rawat in 2006 with the goals of providing nutritious, hot meals for children and infirm adults using local foods, employing local villagers, offering hygienic and agricultural education, and enlisting community leaders to help design and adjust the program. FFP Nepal, which opened in April 2008, is one of three such programs that TPRF operates. The others are in Jharkhand in northeast India and in Otinibi, Ghana, on the outskirts of Accra, the capital city.
About The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF)
Founded in 2001, The Prem Rawat Foundation strives to address the fundamental human needs of food, water and peace so that people can live with dignity, peace and prosperity. For more information, visit: www.tprf.org.
SOURCE The Prem Rawat Foundation