When I visit the Children’s Centre, I love to have lunch with the kids. At meal time, the kitchen is a well-oiled machine run by Mary, Rose and Emmy. EBCCK Director Helen Stover also plays a role, making sure the menu is nutritious and balanced.
For breakfast the children receive porridge or an egg, along with a glass of chai (tea). The Kenyan lunchtime staple of githeri (maize and beans) is enhanced periodically with onions and tomatoes from the shamba (farm) or potatoes, carrots and rice from the market. However, if you asked the children to vote for the best meal, the award would go hands down to the fresh fruit that is served as a daily snack: pawpaw (papaya), mango or bananas.
As it is here in the U.S., cooking and eating is followed by clean up chores. The students wash their own dish, cup and spoon (everything is numbered) in plastic sinks with warm water and then store them on the shelf to dry. The final task after lunch is to sweep the dining hall, which was recently outfitted with new tables, hand-made by Roy Stover.
I mentioned the shamba (farm). EBCCK was able to begin farming in a serious way a couple of years ago, with the purchase of the adjacent parcel of land. Philip Koskei, an EBCCK board member who lives down the road from the Children’s Centre, recently returned from Kijabe, Kenya, where he participated in training for the Farming God’s Way program. Farming God’s Way combines technological, management and Biblical practices in the agricultural domain in order to provide solutions to the food security and poverty crisis in Africa. As the lead farmer at EBCCK, Philip is charged with the practical application of these practices, with the result that the Children’s Centre now grows most of its own grains, beans and vegetables. The Kamonong area is now getting some rain, which is the signal that it’s time to plant the maize. Talk about organic and local!