Our school needed a new kitchen. The conditions under which our cooker was cooking for the children were no longer acceptable. She had to prepare food for 60 children on the floor of a 4 square meter big iron sheet building. She was cooking with fire which caused an enormous amount of smog and as there was no steam vent it was hardly impossible to breath inside. Our board member Katharina took on the kitchen project last year. Below she will explain the genesis from her angle. We started the construction of the kitchen this February. Meanwhile she is almost finish and should put into operation in the next few weeks. With 3.5 x 7m and a covered terrace of the same size, she is much bigger than before. It has a large work surface, which is covered with granite, a hand-washing sink and two sinks plus a water recycling system. The most important change is that we are switching from cooking with fire to electricity, which is not easy because cooking requires a lot of electricity. Since our solar system does not provide enough electricity for a normal kitchen operation at the moment, we had to find another solution. We will heat the water with kettles and then maintain the temperature with two induction cooktops. This should make it possible to prepare the meals for our students. In the long term we want to expand the solar system and have enough electricity for the kitchen. Of course, this is connected with a larger investment. The kitchen should not only be the center for food, but also for drinking water. We have placed four drinking taps on the outside wall where the children can fill up their cups with water. With the construction of the kitchen, we also worked on the quality of our water. Until now, the rainwater was cleaned by a sand and a sediment filter, then treated with chlorine and used as drinking water. But we were looking for another solution, as chlorinated water is not really tasty and not the best option. Together with our water partner Davis&Shirtliff, we decided on a UV filter system. The rainwater from the tank is fed into the kitchen, where it is cleaned again through a sand and sediment filter and disinfected at the end with a UV lamp. With this method, we can produce drinking water that is comparable in quality to water in Switzerland. This is another big step for our school and especially important for the health of our children. The waste water from the kitchen flows through four tanks with different natural filters and is thus recycled. The water is then clean enough to be used for washing the dishes. In this way, we can significantly reduce the water consumption.

The Realisation from Katharina’s perspective:

When I visited our school project in Kenya for the first time in October 2021, I finally realised how much we have already achieved in the last two years respectively what my son Joshua already has realised and built. During my first round on the ground, I was amazed when I saw a small tiny iron sheet building at the very edge. I was curious and wanted to take a closer look. What could be hidden in that small house? A Chicken coop? No, inside there was a woman sitting on the ground preparing food for the children on a fireplace. I was really surprised and thought that there must change something. I decided to start my own project and plan a new school kitchen. My head was already buzzing with ideas on how I could design it. I soon realised that it was not as easy as I first thought. As you know, ideas have to be turned into realistic plans before they can be implemented. I thought about how I could best present the project and, above all, how I could finance it. I then came up with the idea of creating a calendar with the motif of the school. I decorated it with pictures of the children and the large A3 calendar was additionally decorated with 12 African recipes, so that I could establish a connection to the kitchen. The proceeds from the sale of the calendars would then finance the new kitchen. My goal was to generate CHF 5’000 by the end of Januar 2022. Thanks to the calendar campaign the CHF 5’000 came together within one and a half months. But the costs of the kitchen amount to about CHF 13’000 and thats why we needed more donations to realise the entire project.

Here you can order a calendar.

The second step was to draw the building for the kitchen. However, drawing has never been my magnitude. With a house planner software on the internet I was able to design the building. The kitchen should have a size of 3.5 x 7m and contain three windows as well as a serving area for the food. In February we were then able to start with the construction work. The ground was dug by construction workers with scoops. Impressive to do such a work by hand in this heat. Stone by stone the wall was raised and within three weeks the whole building was up. After that the construction went on with the roof and the installation of the water and power connection.

A big thank you to everyone for the great support! Thanks to you our cooker is now able to cook for our children under healthy conditions.

Pamoja ni nguvu – together we are strong!

Construction workCosts
BasementCHF 3’385.62
RoofCHF 1’614.79
SubfloorCHF 1’733.79
Plastering and Terrace railingCHF 728.00
Kitchen working surface and coverCHF 1’180.65
Electrical installation and wiringCHF 467.02
SinksCHF 371.17
Sanitary workCHF 174.62
Doors, windows and window grillsCHF 901.60
Water recycling systemCHF 160.50
Kitchen closetsCHF 634.98
Galana floorCHF 387.33
Induction cookerCHF 69.08
TotalCHF 11’809.15
Costs kitchen
Before – after

Categories: English

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