AS the nation looks at ways of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the sad reality is that the pandemic has also had a huge impact on many families, including those in cities, where some children are reportedly going to school on empty tummies.

The First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa has since responded to their plight after rolling out a nationwide school feeding programme with the main objective being to improve retention ratios and performance in schools.

This Tuesday, the First Lady extended the social protection net to hundreds of school children in Bulawayo Metropolitan province, with a vow not to leave anyone behind as the nation races to achieve the Zero Hunger target set under Sustainable Development Goal number 3.

“I am not leaving anyone behind. The hunger that affects children in rural areas equally affects the urban child. We have had the Covid 19 pandemic which has impacted many families and this is why I am embracing both urban and rural communities, said The First Lady.

The school feeding initiative is gaining traction within many communities amid high returns on performance and enrolment levels.

To underline this initiative, agricultural activities at schools have been identified as an essential contributor to the feeding programme.

“I would like to implore schools to focus on agriculture as a key to supporting the school feeding programme. We are now in the Pfumvudza period and this should be a call for schools and communities to revive the community garden,” she added.

For government, the programme is an instrument that ensures good health and enhances inclusion within the education sector.

Meanwhile, the welfare for expecting mothers was under the spotlight during an interactive session convened by the first lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa in Bulawayo this Tuesday.

A letter to the unborn babies …as the first lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa educated expecting mothers on the need for a healthy diet.

For the first time, the country’s maternal ambassador directly engaged expecting mothers to psychologically prepare them for that special moment that defines motherhood.

For the little ones who will be knocking the earthly doors in the next weeks, they will have reason to let out their tiny wails, to appreciate the early gifts extended to them even when they are still in their mothers’ wombs. -zbc