Artistic expression to promote school canteens in Senegal

Starting on the 1st of March, on the occasion of the 3rd African Day of School Feeding, Alianza por la Solidaridad organized all month long artistic contests in the schools of North and South Senegal, benefiting from the project “Reinforcement of livelihoods through a pilot project to promote local production, the introduction of high nutritional-quality food and respect for the environment in school canteens”, funded by the ECOWAS and the European UnionAround 3,000 students have been invited to take part to the event and some of them to be promoters and active messengers of the planned art-related activities around the school canteen. Such events are a key part of a wide awareness raising campaign, whose aim is to inform local population about good food consumption habits and change their behavior.

Some students volunteered themselves to take part in theatrical sketches that showed the impact of the school canteen on their academic performance and results, as well as the importance of a diversified nutrition for a well being. Other very talented artists have chosen to draw “the ideal canteen” with their own personal vision and approach. And then, they have explained the content of their drawing to the others. Poetry had also a space in the activity, using the diversification of the diet as the main subject. The little ones have created poetic pieces and have recited in front of the young public. Proactive teachers and other school-staff members have been very dynamic in gathering the attention of the public and they have emphasized on the didactic and nutritional content of the activity.

At the end of the day, several certifications have been given by the improvised jury to the authors of the best drawings and pieces of poetry, and two footballs have been given in every village. All children have received a notebook, a pen and a sticker with slogans created for the occasion: A sustainable canteen for an outstanding education” and “If I eat a varied diet, I will grow in good health”.

The response of the young audience has been enthusiastic in every school, finishing the event with music and local dances, and thanking Alianza por la Solidaridad for this great initiative.

By Pablo Elorriaga