School children partake of free hot meals in a Madrasah in Lower Sirawan, Toril, Davao City.

DAVAO City –At least 1500 children enrolled in Davao City’s Madrasahs will benefit from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) for Sajahatra Bangsamoro within the school year 2014 through 2015.

Director of DSWD Priscilla N. Razon said, “Initially, we are conducting the feeding program to some 550 five to 12 year-old children in 11 Madrasahs in the city. We will be covering another 950 schoolchildren as soon as we receive the master list from our program field workers.”

“For this initial run of 550 children, the Department has allotted Php 910,250.00 for food, dining and cooking utensils, including 6600 kilograms of iron-fortified rice,” she said.

Madrasahs are Muslim schools that focus on Islamic Studies and Arabic Literacy.

The Feeding Program is the daily provision of food in addition to the regular meals, to two to five year-old children in Day Care Centers or to five to 12-year old children enrolled in Madrasah.

Further, the program is an augmentation support in the feeding program of local government units using indigenous foods and/or locally processed foods equivalent to 1/3 of Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intakes (RENIs).

“Involved in this feeding program for Sajahatra Bangsamoro are communities endorsed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to DSWD through Task Force Bangsamoro Development (TFBD),” Director Razon added.

Feeding is managed by parents of children beneficiaries.

Children are weighed at the start of the feeding and three months after, and after the 120 feeding days to determine improvement and sustenance in their nutritional status.

The program also aims to improve knowledge, attitude and practices of children, parents and caregivers through intensified nutrition and health education; improve and sustain the nutritional status of the target children beneficiaries; and concretize the socio-economic peace initiative in partnership with the Government of the Philippines and the MILF.

Participating parents are mobilized to attend nine capability-building sessions on self, family, parenting, health and nutrition, love of country, and home and environment. DSWD