The Significant Impact of a Free Lunch in a Kenyan Slum

The Significant Impact of a Free Lunch in a Kenyan Slum

by Dengfei Foundation September 10 20:21PM

From Aug. 15th to 17th, 2019, we visited the Lunch for Children International program in Nairobi, Kenya, to evaluate the implementation progress of the project. The delegation includes our Chairman of the Board, Fei Deng, as well as our Director, Yihua Hu, who’s also the Director of the Love Sharing Charity Fund under the China Social Welfare Foundation. They both are co-founders and serve on the board of the Lunch for Children International Program.

Day 1 Visited the Kenyan Vice President William Ruto and His Wife

On Aug. 15th, the delegation along with Binbin Yin, the Executive Director of the Lunch for Children International, and Yimenghan Liu, the Head of Kenya program, visited the Vice President of Kenya William Ruto and his wife at their official residence.

The delegation and the wife of Vice President of Kenya

Vice President William Ruto and his wife welcomed the delegation early in the morning. During the breakfast, the delegation and the Vice President William Ruto had an in-depth conversation about the development of the Lunch for Children program and further cooperation with the Kenyan government.

The delegation thanked the Vice President William Ruto for their invitation at the begin of the meeting, and introduced the background of the initiation of the international free lunch project and its implementation in Kenya. The Lunch for Children International is a public welfare project in Africa and other region, and it was jointly initiated by the Fei Deng’s team with the China Social Welfare Foundation, and the China Red Cross Foundation. It aims to solve the child hunger issues in underdeveloped regions in the world. Up to now, The Lunch for Children International program has served free meals in 6 African countries, providing 5,000 children with breakfast and lunch at school. In Kenya, the project has covered more than 3,000 children.

The Breakfast Meeting

At the meeting, the two sides discussed the future development direction of the Lunch for Children International program in Kenya and reached a friendly cooperation intention: expand the program to benefit more hungry children in Kenya.

The delegates of Lunch for Children International Organization,Deng Fei Foundation, Future Smile Charitable Foundation, together with Deputy President of Kenya William Ruto and his wife took the group photo in front of the Deputy President’s official residence

After the meeting, the delegation visited the United Nations Environment Programme.

The Free Lunch for Children International program executive team reached a cooperation agreement with the Deputy President’s Office of Kenya and signed a memorandum of the cooperation, working together to provide free breakfast and lunch for more than 1,000 children in Nairobi, Kenya. This year, our Free Lunch for Children International program team and the Deputy President’s Office of Kenya start a new chapter of cooperation to help more children in need.

Day 2 Visited lunch serving schools in the Mathare Slum and attended the Annual Commendation Conference

On the morning of August 16th ,2019( Nairobi Time ), the Lunch for Children International program delegation visited four lunch serving schools in the Mathare Slum: Han Ka, Chang Qing, Chang Rong, and Page Vision.

The Mathare is the second largest slum of Kenya and located in Nairobi, the capital of this country.

More than 600,000 people are living this 3 square kilometers poverty-stricken area. The infrastructure is woefully inadequate and everyone lives on less than one dollar a day. The people here face the threat of violence and diseases as well.

The Mathare Slum

The entrance to the slum is a passageway formed by a 20-meter narrow path  and you can see the whole slum within a few steps of it.

As they moved deeper into the slum,, the delegation was shocked by its harsh environment inside. Tin houses connected with one another stand in a dense mass of garbage, sewage and dust. The air is filled with the smell of rotting garbage.

The delegation walked slowly through the main road of the slum and the path between tin houses, successively arriving at four lunch serving schools.

The delegation entered the Mathare

Principals and volunteers introduced the current basic situation of each school and the progress of the Lunch for Children International program to the delegation.

Han Ka, Chang Qing, Chang Rong, and Page Vision are the first four schools to participate in the Lunch for Children international program. They formally started to serve free lunchfor children in 2017 and have served successfully for more than two years. Up to now, eight schools of the Mathare took part in this program, benefiting nearly 2,000 chidlren at school.

The Han Ka School
The Chang Qing School
The Chang Rong School
The Page Vision School

In the afternoon, the delegation visited the Keda DBSA School and participated in the Annual Commendation Conference of Mathare Community Schools in Nairobi, Kenya. The principals of lunch serving schools and international volunteers gathered here to attend this conference as well.

The self-introduction of the principals of lunch serving school
Yin Binbin, Executive Director of Lunch for Children International, introduced the procedure and purpose of the meeting

Deng Fei, President of Deng Fei Foundation as well as the founder of Lunch for Children International program, shared the model and operating experience of Lunch for Children program in China with the principals. He emphasized that the schools should not only update the progress of the program on social media to make the information open and transparent, but also actively announce the dynamics of all aspects of the schools, so as to attract global attention through the social media.

Lunch for Children International program is a window to help schools connect with more social resources and partners to help more children in an all-round way.

Deng Fei, President of Deng Fei Foundation, shared his ideas in the meeting

Based on one month of visits and research on project management of each school by staff and volunteers, Lunch for Children International program team nominated, deliberated, and finally selected Chang Qing as the 2019 Best Organization Award winner and Destiny School as the 2019 Excellent Lunch Serving School Award winner.

Deng Fei, President of Deng Fei Foundation, presented the award to the Chang Qing School
Hu Yihua, Board of Director of Deng Fei Foundation, presented the award to the Destiny School

The Chang Qing School was built in 2015 with the assistance of Dream Building Service Association (DBSA), and started to participate in our Lunch for Children International program in 2017. Based on the evaluation of Lunch for Children International program in this school, the program team found that the school had been serving the lunch in perfect order.

Under the effective operation of the school, meals were distributed to the students in order from the lowest grade to the highest grade.

The students washed their hands in an orderly line. When the meals were served, they lined up to pass the meals from the kitchen to the classroom, and then the senior students were responsible for the distribution. The senior students had been always helping the junior students finish the preparation work before meals.

Students at the Chang Qing School were passing the meals

Elizabeth, Principal of Chang Qing School, came to the stage to receive the award and gave an acceptance speech. “We must carry out the program in an orderly manner. Eliminating child hunger is helpful to education. The impact of education on them will be profound and will be an asset of their lives in the future. We believe that this group of children who are benefited from the lunch will give back to the society in the future.”

Elizabeth, Principal of Chang Qing School, was giving her acceptance speech

She said, “Since we have already involved this program, we need to ensure the safety of the implementation of the program. Grabbing food without washing hands can cause children to get sick, so we require children to wash their hands before meals. Although we are facing difficulties in water supply, we have to solve them because it is basically something to be guaranteed. During the visit, you can find water storage facilities both in the upstairs and downstairs. We have also taken advice from many project teams and will continue to make efforts on more aspects of project implementation in the future..”

Destiny School, the winner of the Excellent Lunch Serving School Award, officially started to serve meals on August 28th, 2018. The principal is very excellent at managing the documents of the school. All ingredients are delivered and used in very detailed form records based on actual conditions, which has become an excellent example of the program to promote to other schools.

The Destiny School Students

Under limited conditions, Destiny School actively uses various measuring barrels to weigh different ingredients, calculates the amount of ingredients used by each child, and makes the record. At the same time, their hygiene standards are also the best among the Mathare schools. In addition, the school fully gets children, parents, teachers, and all relevant parties involved in the process of Lunch for Children International program.

Dixon, principal of Destiny School, came to the stage and gave his speech. “It’s an honor, but we don’t make a show to win this award. It’s a daily routine for us. We are very grateful to be one of lunch serving schools, which is an opportunity we have never had before.”

He said, “There are still many schools that do not participate in the Lunch for Children International program in this area, lots of children only eat one meal a day. Thanks to this program, nutritious meals are provided for our children every day, keeping them from starving. Thanks to Dream Building Service Association(DBSA) and Kenya’s local staff for coordinating and collaborating the program to ensure the operation of it successfully.”

Dixon, Principal of Destiny School was giving his acceptance speech.

He said, “We believe that this project can promote the healthy development of the entire community. The Lunch for Children International program is very important for our school, because after participating in,the praogram, our children’s attention span in class has increased, the dropout rate in our school has decreased significantly. The students take classes form Monday to Friday without absence. At the same time, it helps students to extend their study time as well, as instead of having to walk home for lunch, students can devote more time to study.

In the future, we will implement the program more precisely, record students’ attendance more accurately, and continue to pay more attention to document management. We attach great importance to this program, as we know there is no hope for the Mathare community without enough food for children. Children can get free and nutritious meals and grow up more healthily.”

A group photo of the participants

The meeting was came to a successful conclusion with the warm applause.

This meeting was. co-organized by the Lunch for Children International program executive team and 14 international volunteers. The volunteers were stationed in Kenya from July to August. Detailed interviews were conducted to assess the eight schools that had served meals and seven schools that had applied for the program in Mathare by them.

They made outstanding contributions to the Lunch for Children International program. They improved the monitoring and evaluation mechanism according to local conditions, and assisted in holding community meetings of the program and the commendation conference in Mathare .

After the meeting, the delegation visited the Destiny School.