The new kitchen at Kakunyu

The old kitchen was a small room next to where the children slept. The small stove was struggling to keep pace with the growing number of children at the school and, as it was on the floor, was very hard on the back for the cooks. It also needed a lot of fuel to keep it going. The worst part was that the smoke was all going in to the dormitory next door, which was very bad for the children.

Thanks to a wonderful donation by The Performance Coach, a new kitchen and storerooms have been built just outside the sleeping compound. The kitchen is quadruple the size of the old one, with vents in the bricks to take the smoke. A new fuel-saving stove has been installed, and a worktop along the whole width of the kitchen.

It has transformed the lives of all at Kakunyu. The most extraordinary impact has been on the health and concentration of the children. They’ve always been served porridge, with milk from Mulungi the cow, in the mornings, but no-one was ever quite sure when this porridge would be ready; this meant that the children were hungry without knowing when they’d be eating, so their school work suffered. The new kitchen has meant that porridge is always served at 10 o’clock, so the children know exactly when they’ll be eating, and so can focus much better.

Thanks to a donation from the Marlborough Book Group, some heavy pans were custom-made to fit the holes in the stove. Again this means that cooking is much more efficient, and larger quantities can be cooked so that everyone can eat at the same time.