Since 2016, the Living Without Cruelty Trust has financed a scheme to feed roughly 100 of the most underprivileged children at Hana Primary School near Addis Ababa a programme now taken over by the Vegan Compassion Trust
With crucial backing from the school itself, a kitchen and dining room have been built, parents have fulfilled the role of cooks, and menus continue to be meticulously planned to provide maximum nutritional value mostly based on vegetables, lentils, rice, pasta, spices and bread. Ingredients are purchased locally, thereby helping the local producers. The long-term ambition is to establish a bakery and mushroom growing facilities that will sell produce to the local community and enable the school-feeding programme to become self-financing.
The costs for the first four years have already been met and the children are now receiving breakfast and a daily vegan meal.
Annual reports show that the children benefit both educationally and health-wise:
We also asked an independent observer to assess the project, so that we could be sure that donations were being put to the best possible use. Kalkidan Legesse, who runs a Fairtrade clothes shop in Exeter (Sancho’s Dress), paid a visit to Hana Primary School on our behalf and was glowing in her praise:
‘I was really touched by the project, the thoughtfulness of it and how well the children are looked after…
The meal seemed well balanced and was also delicious! The children seemed content and only had positive things to say about the project…
The teachers said they had seen notable improvements in the exam results of the children who had been in the programme…
I have worked with various people from different organisations here, and I personally found Tsedaye (the project co-ordinator) and her team to be very committed and trustworthy.
I do believe it will make a difference to their lives.’
The programme is administered by the International Fund For Africa, an inspiring US/Ethiopian-based charity run on vegan principles.