On Friday, August 14, the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Vernelle Trim FitzPatrick witnessed the signing of an agreement between the government of Cameroon and the implementing partner of the U.S.-funded McGovern-Dole Food for Education and School Nutrition program. This agreement will permit the implementing partner, Nascent Solutions, to process shipments related to the program duty-free and avoid potential delays in assistance reaching the communities served.
Nascent Solutions, a U.S.-based international NGO, through an open and transparent, competitive bidding process won the right to manage and implement the Food for Education and School Nutrition program for 2019 to 2024. This program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, strives to reduce hunger and improve literacy and primary education, especially for girls.
Nascent Solutions implemented a more limited version of this program in the Northwest Region that concluded in 2018, benefiting approximately 57,000 individuals in Bui Division in the Northwest Region, including 22,000 school age children. The new program, which began in 2019, expanded activities to three more regions – Adamaoua, East, and North – while continuing in the Northwest Region. This extended grant of $27 million targets over 240 schools, with potential to impact more than 200,000 people, including children, teachers, and parents. The activities include expanding school feedings, training kitchen staff, creating school gardens, hygiene and sanitation training, and construction of kitchens, classrooms, latrines, and libraries. In light of school closures in the Northwest, Nascent Solutions adjusted its program to develop a mobile reading program, with librarians traveling every two weeks to various school communities to check out books to parents and provide basic food commodities to families.
The McGovern-Dole Program is named after former U.S. Senators George McGovern, a Democrat, and Robert Dole, a Republican. This program embodies enduring U.S. bipartisan commitment to promoting education and eradicating childhood hunger.