GRET is an international NGO whose mission is to improve living standards for local people and promote more equitable and cohesive societies. Its 650 employees work in nearly 30 countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean to enable particularly vulnerable people to regain control over their lives and their immediate environment. Having operated in Burkina Faso since 2003, GRET works with research institutes and experts to support the implementation of solutions adapted to the challenges of malnutrition, food security, and sustainable development. In this country, where 30% of children under the age of five are malnourished, the NGO is working to promote the consumption of local milk among consumers, institutions and public authorities. At the same time, it is also providing support to small livestock farms and mini-dairies to enable them to improve their productivity and milk quality.
The project: Alongside GRET the Foundation is committed to fighting child malnutrition through the distribution of local dairy products in seven schools in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
This project, which will be implemented over a 12-month period, has a twofold ambition: help farmers and mini-dairies to develop their sector, structure themselves, and create a collection and distribution circuit strong enough to offer quality local dairy products in school canteens, while strengthening food security for children. More specifically, the Bel Foundation’s financial support underpins the development of twelve mini-dairies, members of the Neema cooperative, and a programme for processing local milk into yoghurt that will be offered twice a week to 4,660 children aged 6 to 12, in addition to their lunch.
This pilot project impacting seven school canteens is being run in collaboration with the municipality of Bobo Dioulasso and the provincial directorate of national education, literacy and promotion of local languages. It will help to accustom children to the taste and quality of local milk and assess how children appreciate local milk and whether the solutions and services offered through this programme correspond to the expectations of local people. In such case, it could then be deployed more widely.
At the same time, training and awareness-raising sessions on nutrition and the importance of “consuming locally” will be given to more than 80 teachers, as well as their students and parents’ associations.
Within the framework of this project, GRET and the Foundation aim to develop the local dairy industry and bring lasting improvements in student nutrition.