When we officially and ceremoniously opened the doorsto the new kitchen in November 2017 everyone was ecstatic - with good reason! The kitchen is modern, clean and easy to keep clean. Cooking huge meals in the giant cookers for about 480 - 500 children is a breeze compared to former times when the mamas were mainly cooking outside over an open fire or in a small shed behind the school. That certainly was not easy when it was raining or storming. Everyone is happy and very, very appreciative with this wonderful kitchen. But now the question is: How long must the children go on eating in the dusty make-shift "room"? Well, it isn't really a room. It's more like an over-sized wooden shed with tables and chairs and a dirt floor. During the current dry season it is not only dusty - it is also windy. Dust and wind are not a good combination when a room has no doors or real windows (that open and close).
It's time to get back to the drawing board!There is a large door and window at the front of the kitchen which is meant to go out to the dining hall one day. And that day really should be sooner than later. We are now raising funds for the dining hall so that the chldren can eat in a clean and hygienic environment.As it will be built directly attached to the kitchen, the concept is that meals will be served over the counter through the large window. It will be a very large dining hall so that at least 200 children can eat at once. The dining hall will also be used for other school activities and meetings.
Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to open the doors of the new dining room in November 2018 during our next visit? You can help make it possible! Every donation - large or small - makes a difference - a lasting difference.
We can do it with your help.
HARAMBEE - is a Swahili word for "Joining hands and working together for a common goal".
It wasn't easy.... but we did it! After our outdoor kitchen shack more or less blew down and away during a bad storm last January, just a day before the Kenyan school year began, we decided that it was high time to build a good, solid kitchen. Not only was it dangerous - luckily no one was present during the storm - but the hygienic situation wasn't at its best. Until then it hadn't been a priority for us. We wanted to get the classrooms built first. Sometimes difficult things just happen for the good that comes out of them. Now we are thrilled that the decision was made for us.
The costs were high and the months of construction and fundraising were long and tedious, but the results are amazing. We now have a clean and modern kitchen that makes cooking in it a joy for all involved. Grace, our head cook and meal organizer, is so happy to be able to prepare healthy, wholesome meals in such friendly surroundings. Grace also organizes the 6 groups of mamas who take turns cooking for a week. They cook breakfast porridge for the children - and at least once the week a big breakfast. A warm meal is cooked for all of the 210 LLK School children every school day - and on Saturdays and during school breaks meals are cooked for at least 460 children.That was hard work in the kitchen shack of the past - especially when it rained.
We are so thankful for the many donations - large and small - that made this wonderful kitchen possible.
Now we are hoping to be able to build the dining hall, which will be attached to the kitchen, in the near future. It's time to start banging on the fundraising drums again!
It is always so exciting to watch a construction at the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Centergrow - but even more exciting to see the construction phase coming to an end. Through so many kind donations we nearly have the school kitchencompleted - but we still have a way to go to have it fully financed. Most of the construction is financed and paid for - but about another $10.000 areneeded - both for construction completion and the furnishings. A steam/smoke hood - ventilator is needed as well as a work table, an oven and a fridge.
If the construction goes on as planned, the kitchen will be used in September!
So, if you're considering a donation to Live and Learn in Kenya International this would be the perfect time for it.
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