By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The 58 “lighthouse” schools have been put up by the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) which teaches K to 12 pupils gardening as a reliable solution to malnutrition that can be prevalent among schoolchildren.
The IIRR has proven that the lighthouse schools in its Gardening and Nutrition Education with School-based Supplementary Feeding (GARNESUPP) is a viable way to source food right from one’s garden.
It made these gardens the source of food for its feeding program for children in public schools in Region 4A or Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon).
Likewise, the gardens enlighten pupils and parents on nutrition education.
The program takes inspiration from Cornell University’s International Nutrition program.
It uses nutrition education among children or parents as tool in mitigating malnutrition.
According to the United Nations Millennium Campaign, “improved nutrition education has been one of the key factors to prevent 12,000 deaths a year worldwide.”
IIRR farm expert and senior program advisor Dr. Julian Gonsalves said that among the initiatives of IIRR is “capturing pupils’ mind” for agriculture. “We’re interested in influencing their thinking,” he said.
“We have a very powerful device to influence young people on basic environmental natural resource concepts,” he added.
Tags: Calabarzon, Gardening and Nutrition Education, IIRR champions veggie gardening in Southern Luzon public schools, International Institute for Rural Reconstruction, lighthouse, Manila Bulletin, School-based Supplementary Feeding, United Nations Millennium Campaign
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