School feeding keeps Ola in education

Ola is now attending school regularly and his focus and motivation have improved thanks to a Plan International-run school feeding programme.

Ola is a 13-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother in a poor neighbourhood in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone.

His grandmother is unable to work and they struggle to make ends meet. Luckily, a neighbour, whom Ola now calls his aunty, helps to take care of him. She even provided him with a school uniform. 

Ola’s day starts early in the morning at 6 am when he wakes up to clean the house, do laundry, and prepare for school. After school, he helps his aunty by selling cakes. When he returns home, he is exhausted and unable to focus on his studies, let alone complete the many household chores that he must take care of. 

“Now that the school feeding programme is available at our school, I come to school with my friends who used to skip school,” says Ola. “It’s great to have something to look forward to during the day, and it helps us stay motivated to come to school.”  

Meals keep children in school

Before the introduction of the school feeding programme, Ola was often discouraged from attending school. He would start walking to school but change his mind along the way and head back home. When the school feeding programme was introduced, everything changed for Ola. He started to come to school more frequently and even convinced his friends, who used to skip school, to attend with him. 

“Now that the feeding programme is available, I come to school with my friends who used to skip school.”


Ola is grateful for the school feeding programme by the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, implemented by Plan International. It gives him something to look forward to during the day.

With the school feeding programme, he no longer has to worry about hunger pangs, and this helps him stay focused and motivated in class. He became more engaged in class discussions and started participating actively, a noticeable change from his previous disinterest in learning. 

Ola enjoying a meal at school
Ola enjoying a meal at school.

Improved academic performance

“Food is paramount for sustaining life. Without access to it, children lose interest in learning and daydream about their problems,” says Patrick, Ola’s teacher. “The school feeding programme has made a noticeable difference in children’s academic performance, and I urge the government to continue it.”  

Patrick has seen a tremendous improvement in Ola’s academic performance since the introduction of the school feeding programme. The school feeding programme has given Ola the energy and motivation to excel in his studies, and he is now more alert and active in class.  

Ola’s story is a touching reminder of the challenges that many children face in accessing basic needs like food. The school feeding programme has transformed his life, providing him with the energy and motivation he needs to excel in his studies. With continued support, Ola is determined to pursue his dreams and create a better future for himself and his family. 

Integrated School Feeding Port Loko Video