Lunchtime Meals In Lusaka
It's lunchtime at the Needs Care School in Ngombe Compound, just outside of Lusaka, Zambia. The sky is clear, and the weather is warming up outside. Spring is coming. The children line up in their blue school uniforms—navy pants and blue shirt for the boys, or light blue blouses and a navy skirt for the girls--waiting patiently to be served their portion. When her turn comes, one little girl extends her small plastic tub and receives a scoop of cooked cabbage along with a scoop of Nshima, which is a thick cornmeal porridge, a traditional dish in Zambia. She covers her tub, turns to leave the line, and the child behind her steps up to be served.
Groups of children gather around the steps of the building, some wearing uniform sweaters with their school clothes and one in a stocking cap, as they pause to eat their nutritious meal while even more students pour into the lines. It is a slow process, one child, at a time, but some of the children take the wait time to socialize while others stand stoically, lost in thought.