Seibo is an International NGO with an aim to feed every hungry child in the world through school meals. With donations from ‘Seibo NPO’ in Japan, ‘Seibo Maria’ in Malawi was started by Beehive staff on campus at Beehive for Social Enterprise in Chilomoni in February 2016.Fully established now and working as an independent partner to Beehive, Seibo Maria is currently feeding 1804 under-6 year olds a meal of 100g ‘Likuni Phala’ porridge/child at 40 pre-school nurseries in Blantyre District, southern Malawi.Assistance has also reached 12 primary schools at ‘Kaphuta’ Zomba in Mzimba District, northern Malawi. This expands a programme that the Japanese Overseas Corporation Association (JOCA) ran for 3 years in 1 school – Kazomba FP School – in the Zone.
Our aim is to tackle the country‘s high rate of stunting - low height-for-age. As the effects of stunting - the delay in growth and cognitive development brought on by a lack of vital micronutrients from as early on as conception and life in the mother’s womb - are largely irreversible it is so important that we feed the future. We are a different kind of feeding programme. Seibo is homegrown and our emphasis is on community participation. The programme is owned by the people, for the people. We have a scheme with Beehive’s Mother Teresa Children’s Centre (MTCC), whereby a community-based Allocations Committee meets to discuss and elect vulnerable children for nursery places in the surrounding area in Chilomoni. School committees in Mzimba erect their own kitchen shelters in preparation for Seibo’s food provision; volunteer cooks work to a rota, and; the schools look to till their own land for vegetable garden projects, offering agricultural education to the children.
Seibo is helping children to have the best start in life through nourishment. It is not only the child who benefits either. The knock-on effects of feeding a child are huge: you feed a child and you immediately alleviate household food insecurities. School feeding programmes are a globally recognized way of relieving issues tied to poverty. Hungry children are less likely to go to school and much less able to concentrate and learn when they do attend classes. Giving a meal a day at school addresses those health concerns and encourages children to learn.