Setting up a Feeding Program for the students

Status: Just started

As the learning centre works with children from poor families the centre has found a feeding program necessary to draw attention of these children to school.Many of these children have no food in their homes making it hard for them to carry on with learning on empty stomachs.This has discouraged some of them to go on to fend food rather than keeping at school.

Although a feeding program is one of the expensive exercise to manage but we can think of the best way to sustain it.The local representative has found it good if a maize grinding mill can be purchased by neighbours and it can serve the purpose of grinding maize locally for the school and serving the area residents who will come to grind their maize on payment.Since maize flour is the staple food in Kenya this can be an income generating activity which can sustain the feeding program and save neighbours from such a recurring exercise.This can demand Kshs 200,000 and it can serve the feeding program very well

Hi Virginia,
We have resumed schooling with 4 children benefiting from the goat project.The four children have each got a school uniform from the milk sales that has been going on for two months since the goats gave birth in April and May.. these include 2 boys and 2 girls. We managed to save 3200,Kenya shillings from the sales.At the moment we have a total of 6 goats with all mother goats we bought having given births.The mother goats are likely to conceive again soon as milking has now stopped.However they need a good shelter now.
On the other hand we have not secured the water tank from the lottarian as he says we don't have enough space at the school,however he has shown interest of working with us and we are hoping he will donate it to us when the school secures its own land in the future. the photos below shows the kitchen and children receiving school uniform.I hope to go back to the farm and see how the bean crops are doing.
Best wishes


I suggest that you grow Edamame soybeans. They are for humans rather than oil or cattle feed. They have 40% protein which the children need. I assume they are available in Kenya.

What are Edamame? Edamame are unique soybeans that are harvested at the green stage. They are lightly boiled in water and eaten by popping the beans out of the pods. Enjoy as a snack, and appetizer, or a full meal. Children love edamame.



Richard - the pictures are great of the kids - makes me sooooo happy! What is the bottom picture - the kitchen??? I love Ken's idea of edamame - it is quite a delicious food and, as he says, full of protein.
What kind of inexpensive shelter can you build for the goats? Poles like above plus a tin roof that can collect water - a gutter and down spout to a barrel works very well and what kind of cheap sides to keep them warm and dry? Also, do they sleep on hay when they have given birth?


Hi and Ken,
Very interesting to hear a bout edamame soy beans.Although it sound new I will to inquire fron Agro shops in Nairobi and get to know if they are different from the common ones we know.If they can be grown here in Kenya and especially in the equitorial rain region we are doing our maize farming, then we shall include them in the next farming season.
As touching the goats shed we can make it just the way you have explained and if possible get a water tank to harvest water for the goats.At the moment,goats sleep on old sisal sacks.The expensive shed will need us to buy 20 corrugated iron sheets,3kg iron sheet and 5kg ordinary nails,8 pieces wire mesh,6 pieces of gutter,20 poles and building charges. all these will cost 36,500 K-shillings.This can be made with the iron sheets covering the roof and half the wall while the wire mesh covers the upper part of the wall.We have not included the gate or door.
The bottom picture you see above is the kitchen.
Best wishes,


They will grow there. Make sure they understand you are talking about edamame soybeans.



Hi virginia,
Sorry that I didn't mention you in the massage above as it was addressed to both Ken and you.Your part is the one touching on goats shed while I was responding to Ken on the question of adamame.Hope to hear from you again,


Richard - I think the costs USD are about $380, and I will work on getting some money to you, but it will take a couple of months. When is the rainy season that we Must cover them???



H Virginia,
Great to hear this.The rain season we are expecting is soon in October and goes on to early November while the heavy long rains comes in March and goes on to June.


Hi Richard, Ken and Virginia,

The photos of the school children are great Richard. It is good to hear that the goat project is coming along so well. Your hard work and commitment to these children is inspirational.

Best wishes,


Hi Shaun,Carol,Virginia and Ken,
I should attribute this great success back to you all as you have motivated us so much to come to this far.Any little step we are making is indeed making a change to the project and indeed to the desperate ones we are helping.May us all continue with the same inspiration and once we attain to our major objectives,we shall have a good story to say.God bless you all


hi virginia and every one
i am very happy to hear from you about our goat project proposal of this we have the land for the goat rearing and this project can help our community children to future their education but we do not the goats to begin with so with much request and as early virginia proposed of getting for us some begining goats but from that time we have not got any additional message from you.we shall be great full to get positive response on this support of orphan education
with much respect anthony


Richard - I don't see that I responded to your estimates of $350 per acre - is that rental, harvest, labor, all in, total per acre for the corn AND the beans???? And you are hoping to get 10 acres? That is way too large a jump! Don't forget that 2 years ago, you were doing NO farming!! and last year you say 3 acres for $!,050. I am sure I was only able to give you money for one acre, certainly not 3, and that will hold true for this year. I think you need to speak at length with Ken about farming more cheaply and getting more in your harvest by using his no till method. Like with the goats, you need to be able to make/save money at your end to expand the business without waiting for others to be able to sponsor your full efforts. It's certainly not that we don't wish to, but the fact is, we volunteers don't have the money to spend!
Again, Great Job on the Christmas party! - and the pictures of the children make me so happy :)!



Hi Virginia,
Thanks seeing that you have come up with the crop farming discussion.This is what we are working on now.My desire was to farm up to 10 acres this next season however we realized that this is going to demand a huge sum of money which we cannot raise now.We decided that we can expand the crop farming by farming extra 3 acres to make a total of 6 acres.This is because the number of children is likely to increase in the next short period and this will put more pressure on food consumption. Already I have remitted funds for the 3 acre land and work on ploughing and planting will start soon.I am now left with 3 acres which I have not rented because we have not secured funds for the cost.Yes,We are all working towards making this project self sustaining however at this initial phase we are still finding for help so that after 3 to 5 years we shall have reached that aim.Organic no till is a system we have considered not favourable for us because we are just using rental land more over,it is several kilometres away from Nairobi.This system may work when we attain that stage of owning our land and having some one on the land to do manure collection,however at this stage it may not work profitably for us.
Best wishes,


Hi all,
First of all I would like to thank our volunteers very much for the work they are doing to make us attain this stage.I would also like to thank you for the desire you continue showing in helping this project attain a self sustaining level.

We also totally agree with you that it is very important for projects to become self sustaining after a period of time and that any income generating project which is established can show that this is the aim.

Back ground

The start of the Patmos Care and Development Centre has already been explained in the previous discussions.At the start we came up with difine project tasks to be implemented upon.The key project tasks we identified were as follows,

1.Providing food to the orphan and vulnerable children who attend school at the Patmos junior school.This was to be met by setting up maize farming project and purchasing a maize mill to grind the maize.In return the maize farming project would sustain the school feeding program while the maize mill would help in grinding the school maize and providing the grinding service to the people in this community.

2.Equiping the school with learning and writing materials.This could be met through donor funding and through the surplus maize sold

3.Securing our own land on which a permanent school would be build to accommodate up to 300 vulnerable and orphans in Mathare.This would be met through expanding our income generating project from which more savings would help in acquiring this long term facility.

A few days ago we posted on this site the latest end of year school progress report for the children at this school.It was noticeable on the comments on the majority of the children that their school work and attendance record had improved as a direct result of two factors,namely the provision of school books and the school feeding programme.It is important therefore that we continue to find ways to support this project so that the children’s education and well being can continue to flourish.

Our commitment,hard work and determination to get the maize farming aspect of this project up and running this year has been truly inspirational.The goat project on the other hand has seen several children in their school wears just because of the sales we are making from milk.Bean crop has helped add to the nutrition of the children who would other wise suffer from mulnutrition diseases.

The importance of the Maize mill expected to be in operation soon has been projected to bring some profits whose figures have already been worked on and seen that it is going to help raise revenue for meeting school costs leaving aside the grinding services that the community and the school will benefit from.

Proposed improvements.

However , we do need help now to build on what has already been achieved.We need help to take this project forward and with kind hearted,dedicated well wishers behind us we know that there can be a success story for these children to emerge from the abject poverty of Mathare.Improvements proposed include the following.

1.To find secure rental premises for the posho mill and for storage of the harvested crops.By being able to store maize in Nairobi will help reduce the current transportation costs

2.To rent further 3 acres of land so that we can expand the crop and diversify into other vegetables of high nutrition.

3. To find sponsors to support the acquisition of land and the construction of a new school building capable of accommodating up to 300 orphans and vulnerable children.

4.To find funds for the purchase of school equipments and stationery

5.To find funds to improve on the kitchen by purchasing long term equipments such as the energy saving jiko stove,steel utensils such as cups, plates,spoons and pans.

6.To find funds for a much needed water storage tank so that the school children can have access to clean,safe drinking water.This is essential to the general health and well being of the children.

We have also noted the point a bout keeping good and clear accounts at all times so that donors can see exactly how their money is being used.

As a motivation factor to children’s learning and having a sense of belonging, a colourfull X-mas party was organized leaving children with a sense of hope in their lives.
The challenges a head of us are still numerable and for this matter we still plead for more support to be able to overcome this challenges.

In conclusion,We can confirm that this project is designed to be self sustaining within five years and it certainly need the involvement of other supporters to help it succeed in this initial phase of the project and that the the aim is for this community based organization to run this income generating activities themselves ; a project designed and run by the people and for the people themselves.
Wishing you all a merry X-mas and prosperous new year

Kind Regards,

Richard Manya,


Just checking back - what is the cost??? I believe I promised you $350 - and at what time do you need it to secure the land? I have suggested a friend, Anthony Ibanda contact you as he wishes to follow in your shoes with a farming project for his women's group -
Merry christmas! to you and your family
Mum Ginger