Monrovia – For them, it is part of their social corporate responsibility, but for the kids and their parents who can only afford daily meal once a day, it is a gift from the heart.
The local residents couldn’t stop thanking AFCON for its voluntary daily meal program for students of the JMM Gbardyu Elementary Public School.
To some of the parents they were grateful to the company because feeding for their kids in school in that part of the country was not one of the things they expected so soon, especially from a company.
“We want to make a difference we get nothing out of feeding kids we want to keep these kids in school."
"We have worked in Liberia for 10 years, we want to help develop the children by encouraging parents to send their children to school,” Mr. Srinivasa Raju Project Manager of AFCONs said.
A single mother of three kids who spoke to FrontPageAfrica in an interview.
“I earn my living by crushing rocks even though government say this school is free, it is challenging getting my kids to school every day, especially without breakfast; with this news I will have a peace of mind about what they will eat while in school I am so happy for the company.”
Afcons Infrastructure Limited (AFCONS) is a part of the Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group which is the third-largest construction group in India.
Over the past five decades, AFCONS has emerged as one of the leaders in infrastructure EPC industry by continuously delivering world-class services in areas of Marine, Highways, Bridges, Metro, Tunnels, and Onshore and Offshore Oil & Gas.
The company has a transnational presence in almost the entire spectrum of infrastructure activities it is one of the pioneers in infrastructure development, involved in execution of large and complex projects both in India and overseas.
At present, AFCONS is executing major overseas projects in Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Liberia and actively pursuing new markets in Middle East and Africa.
The company is among the prominent EPC firms that are using Candy Software.
With smiles beaming their faces each of the more than 105 students currently enrolled at the school had the opportunity to be served a plate of rice for the first time for lunch.
Mardea Joe is a mother of three of the kids attending the JMM Gbardyu School, she said: “I am so excited about this I want to say thanks to AFCON, we will forever be grateful at least we can now send our children to school without being worried about what they will have as lunch.”
AFCON operate in Liberia as sub-contractor under Arcelor Mittal undertaking the infrastructure components of the company and for them the voluntary school meal program is part of the company’s social corporate responsibility as they continue to operate in Liberia.
Mr. Srinivasa Raju Project manager of AFCONs infrastructure in an interview said, the company is prepared and willing to continue the feeding program and will increase the quantity of food if the number of students increases. Voluntary meal program, according to him, is intended to keep the kids in school.
“We don’t do much but the little we do we put a heart into it and this feeding program for these kids is one the many projects we believe will make a great impact."
"We see the desperation to go to school in the children and it is our obligation as a company to help in our little ways.”
The World Health Organization launched similar program on the 15 of June 2016.
On June 15 June, more than one thousand primary school children in six schools in northern Liberia’s Nimba County were expected to start eating nutritious school meals prepared from locally produced food as the World Food Programme (WFP) in collaboration with the Ministries of Education, Agriculture, and Health launch the pilot phase of the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme.
According to the Buchanan City mayor Julia Bono, besides the voluntary school meal program AFCONS has contributed to the development of Buchannan city, providing food assistance for orphanages in the city of Buchanan.
AFCONS has also constructed a market for local businesswomen in the Buchanan Grand Bassa County.