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The value of one meal (2012/7/18)
At the Hohoemi drop-in center in Sadar Ghat neighborhood, a place known as the gateway to Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh focuses on creating a center that provides basic education, recreation, and enlightenment activities for street children and working children during the day.

The children at this center have a specific time that they look forward to everyday; that is, lunch time. As lunchtime approaches, the children become restless and bug the staff about the lunch menu. There are also many children who choose to volunteer and lead in the preparation of the meal.

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Volunteers cleaning and serving food.

Ms. Shanula, is part of the cooking staff and wakes up early every morning to prepare meals. With the support from Ajinomoto International Cooperation for “Nutrition and Health” Support Program, the center is able to provide nutrient-rich, delicious meals.

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Ms. Shanula preparing lunch
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Lunch one day, fruits also included with meal

An introduction to the realities of the children's food situation outside of this center: according to a survey taken from the children that go to this center (40 subjects, multiple responses), to the question, "where do you get your food everyday," 35 responded food vendors and 11 responded restaurant and 3 answered food that had been thrown away.

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Eating a snack from a street vendor. One meal is approximately 5-10 taka (5-10 yen)
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Safekeeping the food that they found

With this diet and living condition, there are common symptoms that occur such as skin disease, fever, diarrhea, and headache.

There is a ferry located close to the city and where the center is located, many children help the passengers of this ferry with luggage or sell water as a way to make money. However, competition is tough and the children must mingle amongst adults. The average age of the children going to this center is 12. The average height is 110cm and average weight is about 30kg. The average of Japanese children at this age is 152cm and 44kg (data from Ministry of Education). The effect of diet and lifestyle on development and growth is apparent.
In fact, according to a survey from 200 children that work near this center, 35% said they get one meal a day, and 55% said two meals a day.

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At the center, nutrition classes are offered, explaining the many nutrients in foods.

For this reason, the center began to provide lunch. The center provides one meal a day to ensure a sense of security in getting the essential nutrients and hopes to continue to report on this matter.

The Hohoemi drop-in center is supported by the Hohoemi project (sponsored by DA TV) and was established in September 2011. The current administration is supported by Hohoemi Project and Ajinomoto International Cooperation for "Nutrition and Health" Support Program, as well as donations from the general public.

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