For an entire year, 1,380 ashayer (nomadic) children in South Khorasan will be eating a hearty and nutritious breakfast at school. For most of them, this is the only meal they’ll receive in a day. MAP, along with generous sponsors and partners, made it happen. In addition, the nomadic students are provided with backpacks filled with basic school supplies to help them in their studies.
The nomadic tribes of Iran are the indigenous people of that country, with origins dating back to 8,000 – 10,000 years ago. They are independent, simple, hard-working people who have chosen a nomadic way to make a living. According to recent statistics*, Iranian nomads form over 600 tribes, consisting of 246,000 families.
Conditions are harsh, the lifestyle is hard and the children are usually malnourished and illiterate. Breakfast consists of whole-grain bread, fruit, butter, halva, jam, milk, and cheese. These basics address some of the nutrient, fiber, and protein deficits they face. Said one of the school principals, “Sometimes they have never before seen packaged milk, cheese, or halvah!” Their hunger satisfied, they can concentrate on their studies. The backpack of supplies gives the kids the tools to learn once they are in the classroom and focused.
Providing the children with a breakfast that not only encourages them to come to school but to attend regularly, is having a tangible impact. Children who are nourished and educated have the potential to contribute more to their community and the possibility of finding employment, thus breaking the cycle of poverty. Thanks to the generosity and unwavering support of our sponsors and partners, this simple project is making a huge difference for these children and their families in rural Iran.
*Territories of Life, Report 2021