Food Secured Schools Africa (FSSA) is a social enterprise set up in Ethiopia in 2018. Since then it has tested school gardens run in an entrepreneurial model. Instead of handing over aid or charitable giving that is typical for the NGO approach, FSSA looks at people and resources and makes the best of them.
FSSA offers technical support and seedlings to low-income parents who access the unused land of the schools to produce chemical-free vegetables and fruits. Their work becomes a source of income for the parents and a source of fresh and nutritious food for the children enrolled in education programs.
The parents generate income by selling mainly through the School Feeding Program (a governmental initiative to keep disadvantaged children in the education system), but their yield may also be used for their own subsistence, which became very relevant during the Covid-19 crisis.
In two years FSSA has achieved the set-up and the sustainable management of nine school gardens, located in Addis Ababa and Oromia Region, Ethiopia, involving over 300 parents who were able to produce up to 30 tonnes of vegetables per hectare of land.