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Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
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The purpose of this study was to bring out the effects of Menu planning on the wellbeing of street children in street care Homes. Specifically, the study  determine the daily menu of children in HOTPEC Orphanage; analyse the Nutritional needs of the different ages of children in HOTPEC Orphanage and evaluate the Nutritional balance of diets on children in HOTPEC Orphanage.

The children from orphanages continue to suffer as they lack a balanced diet. Most of these children need a good diet. The study area was HOTPEC Orphanage.

The method used in this study was quantitative research method with the use of questionnaires.

The questionnaires were self administered by the researchers at HOTPEC Orphanage. The researchers also use interview questions to collect primary data for this study.

The findings of the study revealed that Children in HOTPEC orphanage have a balanced diet even though some children complained that sometimes they skip breakfast but majority of the children stated that they do not skip breakfast sometimes within the week.

The researchers were also provided with the weekly menu of HOTPEC orphanage. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help orphans to feel good and forget their bad memories.

This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.



1.1Background to the study

Sources trace orphanages at least as far back as eighth-century. In Kerala the history of orphanages starts with the arrival of missionaries. They started number of asylum that became refuge of many people. In Milan abandoned children were commonly housed for the long haul in “hospitals” in 12th century Europe.

In a Home of Another Kind, Kenneth Cmiel, a history professor at the University of Lowa, informs us that the first recent appeal for the revival of the orphanage here in America can be traced not to Gingrich but to a 1988 article published in The Washington Monthly by Lois Forer, a retired judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia.

Forer‟s call to action was a response to what she had been witnessing in her own court with increasing frequency. “Given the flood of horribly abused children who are becoming wards of the state, she argued, and give the well-documented inadequacies of the foster care system, the way to do better was to bring them orphanage”, explains Cmiel.

He notes that in the 1980s, “the number of children without a stable home exploded.

“Crack cocaine played a significant part in the growth of what are now called the “no parent” children – children who are muddling through with sub-adequate parenting. The rise in the number of children who received out-of-home institutional care rose from 2,62,000 in 1982 to 4,42,000 10 years later. Shibu Luke(2012)

The philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau deposited all five of his children in a foundling home, and declared that he was doing them a favour. Looking at the historic development of institutional caretaking, the classic orphanage clearly shows how much child development depends on the way caretaking is organized and the cultural notions caretakers have about their own roles and practices.

It is important that professionals have a clear understanding of the classic orphanage environment in order to change altitudes and develop new caretaking practices.

Studies in orphanages have produced valuable knowledge about the importance of the daily environment, and many new ways of organizing care are based on these studies Shibu Luke(2012)

Good diet allows children to read, play, grow and develop. The food habits children learn to step into adulthood. What they do in their child care environment will affect their eating habits and the way they feel about food.

Menu planning is one of the important managerial activities of food and beverages operations executed by a team comprising the entrepreneur/proprietor, the restaurant manager, and the executive chef Edinburgh (2011).

In a large hotel, the general manager and the food and beverage (F&B) manager will also be members of the team. In welfare catering operations, the head of the institution, the catering manager, and the finance manager will be involved.

Menu planning calls for careful thought on many factors that would determine the success of the F&B operation. Menu forms the basis or acts as a guide upon which all other managerial and operational activities of F&B operations rest on Briscoe (2015).

Most people give up on a balanced diet because they are confused on how to combine homemade food like Ekwang or fufu and eru into their diet. Eating a balanced diet is not an expensive endeavour rather by implementing Cameroonian foods into your balanced diet plan will make your healthy eating goal achievable.

Children in street care home in Cameroons orphanages suffer from an imbalance diet. This is because of lack of good Menu planning (WA Abia · 2007).

To create a menu for the week or month, you need to understand the classes of nutrients below:
They are an excellent source of energy and should comprise sixty percent of a person’s diet.

Sources of carbohydrate: Wheat, maize, corn, millet, oats, rice, flour, pasta or noodles, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, sugar, and popcorn are all sources of carbohydrate (AJAYI, 2018).

There are so many essential vitamins today, but focus should be directed on the intake of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B, and vitamin D. Sources of vitamins: Pumpkin leaves (ugu), orange, sugarcane, pawpaw, watermelon, tangerine and other fruits are major sources of vitamins (AJAYI, 2018).

Minerals aid with the release of energy from food items, plus they interact with the organs to promote growth. For example, iron helps with energy, while calcium works towards bone and teeth development but the most important ones in the diet are iodine, potassium, sodium, etc. Sources of minerals: Milk, salt, red meat, fish, potatoes, rice and other foods are primary sources of minerals. (AJAYI, 2018).

Many people avoid fat thinking they cause weight gain, but this is far from the truth. Healthy fats or those derived from good sources are dairy products, meat, and fish.

Unsaturated fats regulate the body temperature, the absorption of vitamins and help with slow energy release which is perfect for long-distance runners. Sources of unsaturated fats: Salmon fish, olive oil, skimmed milk, avocado, peanut butter, sardines and many more (AJAYI, 2018).

Protein comes mainly from meat, but dietary recommendations suggest that you get it mostly from lean meat sources. They primarily help with the development of skin, hair, and muscles.
Sources of protein: Meat, fish, nuts, eggs, beans, milk, pork, yoghurt are important readily available sources of protein (AJAYI, 2018).

This class of nutrition helps to keep your cholesterol levels in check and aids with proper digestion. Sources of fibre-rich food: Oatmeal, roughage of orange, vegetables, brown rice, banana, apples, mango, and potatoes are all sources of fibre (AJAYI, 2018).

Fizzy drinks, coffee, tea, and juice drinks cannot provide the same goodness as water. Suggested intake of water is at least eight glasses a day to help keep the body hydrated (AJAYI, 2018).

1.2 Background of the study area

The HOTPEC orphanage is an orphanage that was created by an individual to take care of the orphans and the less privileged children in and around the Fako Division of the Southwest region Cameroon. It is recognised by the government.

Unfortunately, it does not receive any support from public institutions. It is sustained from donations (goods or money from individuals, some churches and national and international organizations HOTPEC (2021)

Children brought into this orphanage range from age a few days old up to a maximum of 26 years. These children are either identified in homes or brought there or are found at their gates early in the mornings or late in the evenings HOTPEC (2021).

The children are catered for by feeding, providing health and education. The centre needs basic food items such as cooking oil, salt, sugar, milk, soap, washing powder which must be bought to suit the condition of the children.

There are paid staff members who teach and take care of these children and the costs like the salaries for the teachers and workers, school fees and school uniforms for all school children, clothes, costs for doctors and hospitals, electricity and water are what they require from members of the public.

The centre is managed by the director, Mrs. Mbaye Njang, (living in the orphanage compound with the children) HOTPEC (2021)

The centre’s most urgent needs are: foodstuffs, financial assistance for the running costs and for the realisation of some important projects. At the centre there is a dormitory which requires extension, baby cod for babies and beds for the bigger children.

There is also need to fence the compound to avoid children going to far into the farms of other people, and also avoid people from neighbouring compound from in and picking some things belonging to the children HOTPEC (2021)

Food for the orphans is cooked on an open fire in a large wooden structure. They are looking forward to building a new kitchen of good and favourable conditions. They have a small building serving as toilets and washing facilities for the children in the orphanage.

They also conduct Sunday church services in one of the classrooms for the spiritual up-bringing of the children HOTPEC (2021)

Found everywhere in the compound is stables for pigs, goats, geese and chicken, used for self subsistence. A large area of the land is used to grow plantains, yams, beans, fruit trees and other which are used to feed the children HOTPEC(2021)

The children found in the centre are of different age groups and are responsible for certain tasks like: cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, helping to care for the small children, caring for the domestic animals and working in the gardens and fields.

The centre also runs a primary school right up to the level of completion. The school is opened to members of the general public just to raise funds to pay the teaching staff.

Those children who are above the age of primary school are sent to secondary schools in the neighbourhood whose responsibility is that of the centre.

For those that are sick, first aid medication is administered to them at the centre, but should the situation persist, they are taken to clinics and hospitals nearby

1.3 Statement of the Problem

According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, approximately 2.000 children lived in the streets of the major urban centres of Cameroon in 2008 Fon Nsoh(2011).The number of children who live in the streets have significantly increased over the years.

A significant number of these children are refugees who live in the street as beggars without a home and a family. Guaranteeing food for such children is a difficult task. Street Care Children in Cameroon do not have a good menu planning and consequently lack of a balance diet.

In 2008, the Ministry of Social Affairs, in association with communities and some Council, established the “Project to Fight the Phenomenon of Street Children”, aimed at offering psycho-social care, and bolstered the intake capacities of specialized centres and took measures to enable some of them return to their homes.

Progress in this direction is still very slow, as the number of street children increased by the day. With the advent of decentralisation, councils are expected to address more of the issues at the local level as the management of social centres is placed under their responsibility.

The second problem identify is the fact that the Cameroonian legislations do not mention menu planning/right to food. Cameroon’s most applicable legal instrument, the 1996 Constitution has no specific reference to the Right to Food and there is no known legislation referring explicitly to the promotion or protection of the Right to Food.

However, in its preamble, strong recognitions are made to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter on Human Rights with precise aspects pointing to the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living. The preamble also highlights some key resolutions of the State to guarantee, protect and provide for every citizen including the members of minority, vulnerable and marginalized groups.

The preamble states in paragraph three that, “We the people of Cameroon… resolved to harness our natural resources in order to ensure the wellbeing of every citizen without discrimination, by the rising living standards, proclaims our right to development as well as our determination to devote all our efforts to that end and declares our readiness to cooperate with all States desirous of participating in this national endeavour with due respect for our sovereignty and the independence of the Cameroonian State.

1.3 hypotheses

H01: Good daily menu has a significant impact on street care children in Buea Municipality

H02: Daily Menu does not have a significant impact on street care children in Buea Municipality

  • Objectives of the study

1.4.1 Main objective

The main aim of this study is to study the effects of Menu Planning on the wellbeing of street children in street care Homes.

1.4.2 Specific Objectives

1) To determine the daily menu of children in HOTPEC Orphanage

2) To analyse the Nutritional needs of the different ages of children in HOTPEC Orphanage

3) To evaluate the Nutritional balance of diets on children in HOTPEC Orphanage

1.5   Research Questions

  • General Research Question
  • What are the effects of Menu Planning on the wellbeing of street children in street care Homes.

1.4.2 Specific Research Question

1) What is the daily menu of children in HOTPEC ORPHANAGE?

2)  What constitute the Nutritional needs of the different ages of children in HOTPEC Orphanage?

3)  Do children in HOTPEC Orphanage have Nutritional balance of diets?

Further reading:





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