Leonus is a dedicated community education mobilizer (CEM) at Mchangani Primary School in Malinyi district, located in the Morogoro region of Tanzania. Seeing the need to support his community school, Leonus decided to volunteer his time and effort to cultivate a school farm. His goal was to support school feeding, ensuring students had at least one nutritious meal each day.

Leonus’s initiative was significantly bolstered by the support and awareness provided by the IDYDC (Iringa Development of Youth, Disabled and Children Care) through its Jifunze Uelewe project. The project aims To increase community engagement for a safe and inclusive learning environment through action planning. Through training sessions and community outreach, the Jifunze Uelewe project provided Leonus and the community with knowledge to implement community action plans, and this motivated Leonus to start and sustain the school farm.

With hard work and determination, Leonus collaborated with Parent-Teacher-Partnership (PTP) and transformed an empty piece of land into a thriving farm, where they grew various crops such as maize, beans, and vegetables. The farm soon started producing enough food to feed all the students at the school. Because of their efforts, students were able to focus better in class, their health improved, and overall attendance increased.

Leonus’s initiative inspired others in the community to support the school feeding program, making it a sustainable project for the future. His story is a testament to how a community, when supported by an effective educational program like Jifunze Uelewe, can make a significant difference in the lives of many. Through this collaboration, the project also fostered a sense of community, enhanced educational outcomes, and promoted sustainable development.

Leonus (Community Education Mobilizer From Mchangani Primary School), Photo by Admin


Improved Attendance: In Leonus’s initiative, providing meals from the school farm led to increased attendance. Students were more likely to come to school knowing they would receive a nutritious meal. This reduces absenteeism, which is often caused by students needing to help at home or search for food.

Better Health and Nutrition: The food grown on the school farm ensured that students had access to balanced, nutritious meals. The student’s health improved, evidenced by fewer illnesses and better physical development. Proper nutrition is essential for children’s growth and overall well-being.

Enhanced Learning: With their basic nutritional needs met, students could focus better on their studies. Hunger can severely affect concentration and cognitive functions, making it difficult for children to learn. Leonus’s initiative ensured that students were more attentive and engaged in class, leading to better academic performance.

Community Involvement: Leonus’s initiative did more than just feed the students; it engaged the community. Seeing the positive impact of the farm, community members were inspired to contribute, either by volunteering time or providing resources. This fostered a sense of unity and collective responsibility, strengthening community ties.

Gender Equality: In many Tanzanian communities, girls are often kept out of school to help with household chores or because of food scarcity at home. The assurance of a meal at school encourages families to send their daughters to school. Leonus’s farm project helped in promoting gender equality by reducing one of the barriers to girls’ education.

Life Skills and Agricultural Education: The school farm also served as a practical learning site, as students began to cultivate vegetables in school gardens. The school farm becomes a hands-on classroom where they gain insight into agriculture, sustainability, and the significance of dedication and community involvement. These invaluable life skills will shape their futures.

Jifunze Uelewe team observing the preparation of student meals from Community Education Mobilizers and Parent-Teacher-Partnership. Photo by Admin

Leonus’s initiative at Mchangani Primary School demonstrates the multifaceted importance of school feeding programs. It not only addresses immediate nutritional needs but also contributes to broader educational, economic, and social benefits.

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