School Feeding Day is celebrated every fourth of July in Honduras as a national holiday. Catrachilandia, has occured for the past twelve years in order to emphasize the importance of school meals given to boys and girls throughout Honduras. The World Food Programme and the Government have partnered to aid more than 1.4 million students who have benefitted from this school feeding programme.
World Food Programme Honduras - HondurasLead applicant
WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system. Food aid is one of the many instruments that can help to promote food security, which is defined as access of all people at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life
Country Bank - HondurasInitiative partner
Ficohsa Foundation - HondurasInitiative partner
The Foundation has a strategic alliance with WFP supporting more than 8 thousand children in pre-school through the School Feeding Programmes
The Catrachilandia Festival is an annual effort that is important in raising awareness about School Feeding programs throughout Honduras.
The School Feeding Programme between the Honduran government and WFP was a partnership that worked towards providing meals in public schools throughout Honduras. The programme benefitted more than 1.4 million students attending 21,000 public schools and additionally served as a positive incentive for families to send their children to school and ensure that the short-term hunger does not reduce their ability to learn.
The annual Catrachilandria Festival was an important mechanism to the efforts in support of further education as well as proper nutrition. Because the festival is celebrated on a yearly basis, the Fourth of July in Honduras, is known officially as School Feeding Day (celebrated under Executive Order No. 113-2003). The event itself was a full cost recovery event and did not have a formal budget, instead all costs were recovered by sponsorship and government support.
In Honduras, attendance to primary school sits at 90%. According to an annual report by UNICEF, more than half (52%) of rural households in Honduras are in a situation of extreme poverty. As a result, there are extreme limitations in terms of access to sufficiently nutritious foods, as well as easy to access education. As stated in a survey done through the National Government in 2010, rates of attendance at Pre-School and Primary school levels rested at 14.2% and 81.6%, respectively. After close to 13 years of implementing the programme, analysis shows that there is a direct correlation to the programme and increase in rates of child school attendance for Pre-School at 44.4% and Primary at 89.6% making the programme highly effective at improving rates of child attendance.
Direct results of the Catrachilandia Festival include increased awareness and conscientiousness regarding the School Feeding Programme in Honduras. The event was consistently promoted by the public media, and eventual broadcasts through the national broadcasting company served to promote and advertise the event to the general public.
Key groups benefitting from the Catrachilandia Festival are those that participate in the School Feeding programme. More than 1.4 million students have benefitted in the past from this programme, and continue to do so with the support of the National Government. Additionally, the programme has helped families send children to school, and assures that hunger in the short-term does not diminish the students’ capability to learn. Moreover, funds raised at the Catrachilandia event went straight to supporting the School Feeding Programmes for further logistical and material support.
Critical to the development of the Catrachilandia Festival is the national level support from the Committees School Lunch leaders in each of th Departments of Honduras: including Mayors, Departmental Director of Education, and Municipal Directors of Education, Inclusion, Active Forces representatives from each department (e.g. police and fire). Additional to the support by the National Government included private and local media companies that were committed to developing a succesful School Feeding Programme, and also raise awareness through the annual Catrachilandia Festivals.
Initial obstacles included pre-preparation coordination with each community. To overcome this, the Honduras Country Office of WFP established a system of high credibility and visibility in order to be proactive and create compromises. This system was highly successful as the Catrachilandia Festival has continued to proceed flawlessly.
The Festival of Catrachilandia actively seeks to promote school gardens in order to improve the nutritional content of meals for students. Additionally, environment maintenance, such as school cleaning, is a component that is implemented before students can receive their school meal.
Catrachilandia lands on the annual celebration of School Feeding Day. In many cases, Childrens Day or similar efforts already exist and are supported by the National Governments; and therefore becomes an easily transferrable best practice to promote social awareness. The Catrachilandia Festival is sustainable via its continuous support by participation from the private sector and other state organizations and NGOs. The festival is considered highly transferrable with the aid of a nation’s government and support. Essentially, this festival is in place to support School Feeding programmes; therefore, it is also necessary that the nation also has the programme in place on a national level.
The date of each event is broadcasted annually through media outlets and Government authorities so that they can continually increase the number of participants in the activities. Sponsorship and Resource Mobilization by private enterprises played an additionally important role in spreading awareness of the importance of the School Feeding Programme as well as increasing attendance to the Catrachilandia Festival.