Table for Two was a school feeding program that took place in Van Ho, a community of nine villages with nearly 8,000 residents in Son La province, about 150km from Hanoi. The villages face significant challenges such as low access to health care, education and clean drinking water. These challenges are exacerbated due to a lack of infrastructure connecting the villages with larger towns in the area. The seven kindergartens in the villages were not able to offer children a positive or stimulating learning environment due to a lack of sanitary facilities, toilets, drinking water and play areas.
In these villages, malnutrition rates are extremely high. Children at the kindergarten normally have meals with very low nutritional value. To help improve this situation the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS) worked with the charity Table for Two to deliver a nutrition project.
Pa Che 2, Pa Cop and Sao Do are some of the poorest villages in Van Ho and the kindergartens in these villages were selected for the nutrition project because of their needs and the commitment from local people to contribute labour for cooking and for building a small kitchen at each kindergarten.
The objective is to contribute to the development of the children by reducing the malnutrition rate through the provision of a regular, nutritious lunch. Meals were provided 5 days a week to 60 children in kindergartens in Pa Che 2, Pa Cop and Sao Do.
The outcomes included better health for the children to increase learning effectiveness and reduced risk of medical complications. Additionally, the project increased the number of days students attended school, allowing parents the opportunity for more working days.