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In this month's issue

  •     Andrew Mulinge's Graduation
  •     Ingatestone And Fryerning Junior School Donation
  •     Hedgehogs for Africa
  •     Free Access Storage Unit
  •     Plastic Cups for Seedlings
  •     Solar Panels
  •     The Feeding and Nutrition Programme

Andrew Mulinge's Graduation

In January, Andrew Mulinge, maths teacher from Excel, graduated with his P1 certificate.

Teacher Andrew has worked at Excel school for several years now, and proved himself to be an excellent, dedicated teacher. After completing secondary school, he started work, unable to afford to go to college or university.

Porridge and Rice helped Teacher Andrew to pay his fees to complete his P1 certificate, the first step towards a Bachelor of Education, and becoming a fully qualified teacher.

Many of the teachers at Porridge and Rice would like the opportunity to obtain professional qualifications, and have proved themselves worthy and capable, but the charity is limited by its income. Please get in touch, if you would like to sponsor a teacher.

Ingatestone And Fryerning Junior School

Throughtout the year, the pupils at Ingatestone And Fryerning Junior School have raised money from a series of events and activities. Last year, they decided to donate £500 of the money that they had raised to Porridge and Rice and on 24 January, Emma, charity vice chair, and Ken, charity chair, visited the school to collect the cheque.

Hedgehogs for Africa

Not only have Jude's knitted hedgehogs outsold all expectations, but there seems to be no end in sight - sorry Jude, but you have many years of knitting hedgehogs ahead of you.

Jude shares her thoughts and feelings on the unexpected success and fame, that the hedgehogs have brought her in Hedgehogs for Africa.

Caroline Easton has been a tremendous help to Jude by also knitting hedgehogs - thank you Caroline. If you would like to help knitting hedgehogs, please do get in touch.

Free Access Storage Unit

Access Storage Twickenham has generously provided the charity with a free storage unit.

As the charity has grown, so too have the quantity of donated items and fair equipment, both of which are stored in the unit. The unit has been so useful, that it is hard to imagine how Porridge and Rice managed without it. The kindness and generosity of Access Storage Twickenham is appreciated.

Plastic Cups for Seedlings

The charity is expanding the range of plants and seedlings that it sells at fairs. To keep costs as low as possible, rather than buying plants pots, seedlings are planted in used plastic cups collected by Richmond Bridge Club.

If it all goes to plan, the charity will offer a range of plants and seeds including
  •     tomato seedlings including yellow and black varieties along with the traditional red
  •     lettuce seedlings
  •     cabbage seedings
  •     sweet pea seedlings
  •     coleus plants
  •     giant hosta plants

For full details of the plants that the charity will have for sale, please visit plants for sale.

Solar Panels

While electricity is now available to most schools, it is too expensive to use for things like providing hot water and refrigeration. In addition, when it is used, it is used sparingly so lights are low. The charity wishes to change this.

In a country where sunlight hours are consistent and skies are usually clear, solar energy could provide schools with large amounts of electricity cheaply. In addition, all schools have lots of roof space to accommodate solar panels.

The charity is working on raising the money to equip all schools with solar electricity, to provide in order of priority
  •     better lighting in classrooms
  •     hot water
  •     fridges

If you would like to help the charity convert all Porridge and Rice partner schools to solar energy, please consider donating on the charity website.

The Feeding and Nutrition Programme

Porridge and Rice's Feeding and Nutrition programme has two goals -
  •     to combat hunger in school children
  •     to provide the nutrition pupils need for full, healthy development

In 2013, before Porridge and Rice was established, the first team that visited Kenya asked each school they visited to name their biggest challenge, and each stated without hesitation that it is not possible to teach a hungry child. It was then that the charity decided to lead by implementing a feeding programme when partnering with a school. In addition, because of the priority given by schools to combating hunger, the charity chose to take its name from the Feeding and Nutrition programme.

The Feeding and Nutrition programme was a huge success with absenteeism falling near to zero, parents asking for term times to be extended, and children coming to school when sick. However, the charity quickly realised that hunger was not the only problem it needed to address but that hidden hunger was as much of a problem.

Even those in the slums that have enough to eat frequently suffer from three major defficiencies namely Iron, Vitamin A, and Iodine, with serious consequences from permanent blindness to death. Realising this the charity, redesigned meals to eliminate these three major deficiencies - for example, sweet potato was introduced to provide pupils with the Vitamin A that they need - and regularly reviews new meal options to provide minerals and trace elements.

Volunteers 2014

The first group of volunteers to travel to Nairobi on behalf of Porridge and Rice travelled in March 2014. People had visited before but the charity had not yet been founded. The team launched the first programme at the first partner school.

Dutch Visitors

The charity has welcomed visitors from several countries including the Netherlands. Some travel with Porridge and Rice from the UK, and some like this team of Dutch students, discover the charity while in Kenya.

Visit the PaR Facebook page for more pictures and details about the work done by PaR.

If you have any questions or comments, please email on info@porridgeandrice.co.uk


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