8-1-13 | Volunteers
In July, nine parishioners from Old St.Patrick’s Church in Chicago visited Fabretto and worked on the construction of a new school kitchen at the rural public school in El Apanaje, Las Sabanas, in the department of Madriz, Nicaragua. Thanks to the Old St. Pat group members’ fundraising efforts and tireless manual labor that week, the community of El Apanaje now has a brand new kitchen, enabling Fabretto and the volunteer mothers to provide the daily School Lunch, a key component of our programs and mission.
The School Kitchens are an important tool for the success of Fabretto’s education and nutrition programs, as the kitchens – along with the volunteer mothers who prepare the meals –make it possible for these students to receive their daily hot lunch, which gives them the energy they need to attend and succeed in school. Additionally, this school lunch is often the only nutritious meal these students will receive each day; therefore, it has been proven to have a longer-term impact on the children’s physical and cognitive development. Finally, the new school kitchens are better-equipped, more hygienic, and safer cooking environments for the mothers who prepare the food.
In 2004, Fabretto began its school feeding program and built 18 kitchens in the Municipalities of Cusmapa and Las Sabanas. At the beginning of 2011, 90% of these buildings were in disrepair because of weather, use, and the short-life of local materials used in construction. The kitchen at the rural school in El Apanaje, located in an isolated community approximately 10 kilometers from the town center of Las Sabanas, was one of the Fabretto schools whose kitchens was in urgent need of improvement. The access to this school was a particularly tough challenge, as it was a 25 minute drive from the main town of Las Sabanas on a rocky road, followed by a 30 minute hike up the mountain to the beautiful site of the school. However, with the help of the Old St. Pat’s group, local community members, and Fabretto staff, this challenge was not insurmountable and over 75 primary and pre-school students’ lives have now been directly impacted!
The kitchen was completed by the foremen and community members within the next two weeks and over 100 students are now receiving nutritional, daily lunches from this new kitchen! To support Fabretto, visit our Volunteer section or donate today.