Nutrifami, an innovative approach from WFP to reinforce and build cooks and managers capacities in senegalese school canteens

In Senegal, more than 156,000 students were supported during the 2017–2018 school year through WFP’s school feeding program. Thanks to this assistance, a hot meal is served to students every day, from Monday to Friday in the beneficiary schools.

Diarry Oumar Sall, one of Thiambés Elementary School cooks consulting the Nutrifami Application in his phone. WFP/Oumar Lo

Written by WFP/Agnes Faye Ndiaye, School Feeding Programme Associate

The cooks who are members of the community, and mothers of pupils are key actors of the school canteens. Indeed, they carry out this work on a voluntary basis and are responsible for purchasing complementary food which is not included in the WFP food basket as animal protein and fresh vegetables. They provide meals service too.

In 2017, strong recommendations were made by SODEXO, a strategic partner for WFP and Stop Hunger following its mission in Senegal school canteens. They focused on the necessity to reinforce school on stock management, hygiene practices and dietarian habits in WFP school canteens. Then in June 2018, WFP Senegal has developed its main prototype of Nutrifami application to strengthen cooks and canteen managers capacities on healthy and nutritious food.

Some cooks participating in the training in the village of Thiambé, which is the department of Matam. WFP/Oumar Lo

Nutrifami is an application available on computer, tablet, and phone, which trains vulnerable communities on healthy eating habits and good hygiene practices. It was established in Colombia in 2016 and received the WFP Special Award for Innovation.

Nutrifami application is also an innovative and effective communication tool that aims to make behaviour change. Its ergonomics are playful and intuitive and perfectly adapted to an illiterate target, thanks to illustrations and audio recordings that are made in the Senegalese national language; the Wolof.

Senegal started the dissemination of this application in November 2018 through a training session conducted in the Matam region. 472 cooks and canteen managers from the 236 schools supported by WFP in the Matam region were trained and the application was enthusiastically received by cooks who could easily use it despite being illiterate and unaccustomed to the use of smartphones. Several cooks have already successfully completed the various modules and obtained their certificates online.

“Having Nutrifami application on my phone is very important for me and other cooks too, because it increases our knowledge and allow us to meet hygiene standards in preparing healthy meals. Nutrifami is like a book my hands and it allows me to increase my knowledge based on what I see and hear. Said Diarry Oumar Sall one of school feeding cooks who gain a certificate after validating the Healthy and Balanced Meal Module.

Diarry Oumar Sall, showing her certificate on the mastery of the use of Nutrifami. WFP/Oumar Lo

In fact, these certificates give cooks recognition and value of their work providing them in the same time a window to their empowerment by offering them opportunities to access to new markets that can improve the livelihoods of their households.

Nutrifami is part of the nine most innovative projects selected from more than eight hundred applications received in 2018 by WFP Innovation Accelerator Office based in Munich. The initiative was therefore presented in November 2018 at the Munich Bootcamp.

With a fund ressource support of USD 100 000 from WFP Innovation Accelerator, WFP Senegal will start the implementation of a pilot for six months from January 2019. 100 canteen managers and 500 cooks in 100 schools supported by the PAM will be reached in Matam and Kanel departments.

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