On December 5, 2019, the US Ambassador to Ivory Coast, Richard K. Bell, made a visit to Loyerkaha Elementary School located in the Poro Region, Northern Ivory Coast. The school is among the 613 beneficiary schools of the Integrated School Feeding and Literacy program, funded by McGovern-Dole FY 2015 program of USDA and implemented by World Food Program (WFP) and AVSI.
The WFP project aims at increase the availability and quality of school meals for 150,000 student beneficiaries over the five year implementation period (2016-2020). AVSI is involved to improve the quality of education through an integrated set of literacy promotion activities.
Together with the Ministry of Education (MENET), AVSI reviews existing curricula and supports the revision process currently underway, guides the implementation of reading assessment of students, trains the teachers' and works with the whole community to create a child-friendly enviroment.
More than 500 people, including parents, local and regional authorities, teachers and of course the students were present during the Ambassador’s visit.
In his speech, Ambassador Bell thanked the entire local community and recognized the hard work of the women’s group feeding children in the school canteens. He also thanked WFP and AVSI for their commitment to the project. He encouraged the authorities at both the national and local levels to continue mobilizing their efforts to sustain the good actions undertaken through the project activities.
During his visit, Ambassador Bell also gave the school principal books and pencils to be distributed among students and teachers. On behalf of her classmates, Yeo Gnaman Minfou, a 5th grade student, thanked the Ambassador: “Since AVSI began working at my school, all my classmates and I have been able to read better and more books. Now, we are also able to eat lunch while still in school. Thank you to the McGovern Dole Program.”