School Cookhouses

cookhouse-thumbs-up

What a difference a few good meals a day can make to a child’s education!  Nine cookhouses have been built thanks to Chef Michael Smith and the team with the Souris Village Feast.

On Friday February 9, 2016, we officially opened the newest cookhouse at Kiirua Primary. It is the school that is twinned with the Souris School – another wonderful community connection.

FHF village feast

With a cookhouse, a school is able to offer two meals a day to the entire school population.

IMG_8244IMG_8266IMG_8263

Today at Mitoone Primary (twinned with West Kent), I watched the cook serve uji, or porridge, to 300 children in about 20 minutes! It is quite the operation. At some schools, Farmers Helping Farmers also provides milk that is added to the uji. The provision of milk is supported by donations to our Holiday Campaign.

IMG_8269IMG_8274IMG_8276

IMG_8275.jpg

Yesterday at Ruuju School, we visited during lunch.

IMG_7878IMG_7909IMG_7903

Students are served a stew called githeri, primarily made of beans and maize cooked in a giant pot. Farmers Helping Farmers provides a school garden – and a gardener- at the schools that have a cookhouse. The vegetables from the garden add nutritional value to the githeri in the form of kale, cabbage, onions, and tomatoes. Schools have recently started growing other crops including sweet potatoes.

Cookhouses matter. Schools have reported better test scores after adding a cookhouse.   The school population has also increased at many of the schools because families are attracted by the feeding program.   They feel good knowing that their children will have two solid meals a day. The parents do have to contribute to the feeding program, usually beans or maize, or even manure from their cows to add to the school garden.

IMG_7940

To see these cookhouses in operation is magic. For some students, these will be the only meals they have in a day.   Research has shown how important good nutrition is to education. This is one way that Farmers Helping Farmers and the Souris Village Feast are making a difference.

Asante for everyone who has supported the Souris Village Feast and Farmers Helping Farmers!