School Cookhouses

Farmers Helping Farmers and The Village Feast have partnered for more than a decade to open school cookhouses and vegetable gardens in Kenya.



Guy Cudmore was thrilled to cut the ribbon to officially open the new cookhouse at  Nkando Primary School in early February 2018.

Farmers Helping Farmers visitors attended the opening  the three cookhouses in late January and early February.   Each opening was a joyous event attended by parents, teachers, all students as well as the Farmers Helping Farmers visitors.   There was dancing by the students as well as the parents and all Farmers Helping Farmers visitors were also invited to dance.  The parents sang as well as the students.

One of the former cookhouses








More than 800 Kenyan school children will now have a hot meal each day at these facilities.

2017 marked the 10th anniversary of the Souris Village Feast  and in recognition of the anniversary, they raised enough money to fund 4 new cookhouses at 4 primary schools in the Naari region (near Meru) of Kenya.

Winston Johnston cut the ribbon for the one at Rugatene Primary School. This cookhouse was sponsored by the 2017 Village Feast event.

Gerry McQuaid opened the cookhouse at  Ndunyu Primary School which was sponsored by an anonymous Island donor

Guy Cudmore opened the cookhouse at Nkando Primary School  sponsored by the Eastern Kings Fisher people.

The Eastern Kings fishers had saved up their donations over three years for this cookhouse.



Brody Webster and Aimee Gillis opened the fourth cookhouse at the Muruguma Primary School in March.  This cookhouse was funded by Ed Babineau and family.

We thank Jennifer Murogocho who oversaw the construction of the 4 well built  cookhouses which included energy efficient cookers and for the organization of the celebrations at the four opening ceremonies.

A new cookhouse next to the old one

Thanks to the generous donors to the Holiday Campaign, Farmers Helping Farmers has also funded a school garden at each of these schools and at least one water tank has been funded at each school. The gardens will provide vegetables for the githeri  (stew made of maize and beans) which is served to all students for the mid day meal.  The school garden is grown under a net and includes drip irrigation.   The vegetables grown in the garden include, kale, collard, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes and onions.  Orange  sweet potatoes are grown outside the netted garden along with butternut squash.

Farmers Helping Farmers horticultural staff oversee the gardens and each school has a gardener funded by the Village Feast.

The openings were broadcast live on the Farmers Helping Farmers Facebook page.


A new cookhouse – and more!

It was a very exciting weekend in Kenya as our Farmers Helping Farmers volunteers and UPEI Pre-Service Teachers participated in the opening of our newest cookhouse, thanks to the incredible efforts of the Souris Village Feast.

The cookhouse is located at Michaka Primary School – which is twinned with Stratford Elementary School. FHF board member Lydia MacKay is a teacher at Stratford Elementary and the chair of the Education Committee so we are sure this cookhouse is especially exciting for her to share with her students!

FHF board members Carolyn Francis, Wendy MacDonald and Liz Townsend were
also on hand to experience the opening of the cookhouse.

To read more:



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.


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.



Yesterday at Ruuju School, we visited during lunch.


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.


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!