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Kenya's disadvantaged communities targeted in new Schneider Foundation Fund

By Fredrick Obura | September 10th 2020
By Fredrick Obura | September 10th 2020
Left :Carol Koech, Schneider Electric Country President East Africa and , (Right) Wawira Njiru, CEO Food for Education  at one of their food distribution centres in Ruiru.

The Schneider Electric Foundation has created a fund to support rural and disadvantaged communities in Kenya who are facing economic hardship.

All funds are being distributed through the Foundation’s Kenyan partner and non-governmental organisation, Food for Education.

Food for Education is a Nairobi-based organisation that provides lunches to public primary school children. To support the initiative, Food for Education has set up food banks where dry food baskets are stored and distributed to the children and their families.

Speaking during one of the distribution sessions, Carol Koech, Schneider Electric’s Country president for East Africa, said, “The Tomorrow Rising Fund was launched to support Coronavirus-related emergency work and longer-term reconstruction in all the countries where Schneider Electric operates. Many of the funds being spent today have been donated by our employees in Kenya, as well as the global Foundation. We are all experiencing unprecedented challenges, which are affecting every single community. Our first response must be to help those most in need and face this crisis together as one nation.”

Food for Education makes use of local resources, innovative technology, and smart supply chain management to make the production and distribution of nutritious meals scalable, cost-effective, and efficient. Food is sourced directly from smallholder farmers and Food for Education uses a central kitchen model to deliver the meals to students in urban and semi-rural public primary schools.

Wawira Njiru, Food for Education’s Executive Director, added, “Due to COVID-19, all the schools in Kenya have been closed. This has hampered our service provision to the most vulnerable school children. Without school, more than 80 per cent of our children do not have access to nutritious meals and this leaves them at risk of malnutrition and exposure to contracting COVID-19 as they leave home to find food. With the support of partners like Schneider Electric, we have set up food banks to address this challenge. We are distributing food to 6,000 families, with each family receiving either a dry food basket or food vouchers and grants.”

The project is being implemented in two phases. The first focused on basic needs, specifically meals for underprivileged children and communities across the country. The second phase, which will involve the Schneider Electric Academy, will focus on understanding what needs to be done to keep students learning online, to ensure more children get a proper education and finish their schooling.

“Looking beyond the initial response plan, the Tomorrow Rising fund will also provide training and skills development to help communities dealing with the consequences of the pandemic through our Education Partners in the country. Education and professional training are some of the most effective ways to secure the best future for young people and their communities,” added Carol Koech.

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