2,000 come for lunch at Langas Primary School, Kenya

Shona Shea, our content development manager, is currently visiting our programme in Kenya. She’ll be reporting back on her experiences over the next couple of weeks. 

Shona Shea
Shona Shea
Content Development Manager

Back to all stories | Posted on 30 Oct 2015 in Blog

Have you ever seen 2,000 school children line up in perfect formation, politely following their teacher’s directions? No, neither had I!

But that’s exactly what happened on the first day of my visit to see Mary’s Meals in action in Kenya.

I was visiting Langas Primary School, in the centre of one of Eldoret’s biggest slums – (the population is 40,000).

The vast pots of steaming maize and beans are prepared in advance and cooked overnight. As I entered the school kitchen, the delicious smell wafted towards me through the steam and one of the cooks offered me a plate. I thought the hearty meal tasted pretty good. She thought it could do with a little more salt.

As the bell rang for lunch time, hundreds of children appeared from the classrooms and started running towards the playing field where the meals are served. What appeared like a chaotic crowd of bodies suddenly began taking the shape of smaller groups and then, almost as quickly, neat lines formed.

Every day, children are fed in order of school year. First up were the pupils from the unit for children with learning disabilities. I discovered that these integrated mealtimes have made a huge difference to their social skills, enabling them to interact and form friendships with children from across the school. Next up were the ECD (Early Childhood Development) children. Barely a couple of feet high, they held out their plates with gusto! And then the older children followed, all the way to class eight – those who will rely on Mary’s Meals all the more as they sit their exams in two weeks’ time.

I was amazed at how well behaved the children were, they all waited patiently in the queue until it was their turn. I’d wondered how on earth 2,000 children could be fed in the space of an hour but it was clear the programme needed to run with this much efficiency. After all, there are some schools in Malawi where Mary’s Meals feeds close to 10,000 children!

It was an incredible introduction to our school feeding programme. One which I know is a fantastic privilege to witness first-hand and I look forward to sharing more stories from this, and other schools as my visit here continues.