BLT aims to improve attendance, bolster learning, and promote local collaboration to support the education system in rural areas of the Negros region. To do this, the program provides daily lunch to young pupils with “wasted” or “severely wasted” body mass indexes. Unfortunately, existing kitchen facilities in the remote schools sometimes lack water, electricity, or safe, hygienic equipment. Contaminated food results in student illness, and the volunteers cooking the food become ill from the toxic smoke.
Through the AAI program, the Institute for Negros Development combines art, design, and health. Knowledge and skills from local ceramic artists are leveraged to create more hygienic stoves and efficient kitchen facilities for the schools. The sculptural prototypes are launched in schools, one at a time, to customize solutions specific to each school’s cooking facilities.
Jeffery Lazaro, Katherin Maguad
Busok, Lusog, Talino traveled to Colambo Elementary School high in the mountains of Negros Island. There, the BLT team facilitated a workshop to teach the children about nutrition, and also custom-designed a cooking stove and other improvements to the kitchen facilities. Additional visits are planned to other schools in remote areas, and communities local to each school are expressing interest in and support for the program.