Construction Completed: A New Cafeteria

The Mwanzo Educational Center has undergone great expansion and renovation in the past few months. A visitor to our school grounds today may hardly recognize it from this time last year. There are four new classrooms, new bathrooms, and fresh paint all around.

Before she left Rabuor in January, Loyce was walking around the school asking students which new addition was their favorite. She expected them to pick whichever one of the vibrant new classrooms was coated in their favorite color, but almost every child's answer was the same; the new cafeteria!

At lunch and snack time, our students usually form a line outside of the kitchen door and receive meals prepared by our staff. The students then take these meals around the corner to an open-air seating area that is about as big as most American bedrooms. This area had sufficed to give our students a shaded area where they could relax and look out onto the schoolyard, but as the Mwanzo Educational Center has grown, this “cafeteria” has gotten crowded. Dozens of students at a time would sit practically on top of each other. The time was right to expand this year, so Loyce asked our excellent local contractor, Patroba, to give our students a comfortable place to eat and meet.

Patroba and his team did an excellent job, working with limited space and on short notice to build something we could proudly call a cafeteria. But, why did the children cite the cafeteria as their favorite new addition? As it turns out, they were simply thrilled to be eating at a table!

In Rabuor, there aren’t many houses that have what we’d call a 'dining table'. Having a dining table in one’s house is something of a luxury. And even in houses where there is one, seating at the table is reserved for elders. For most of our students, this was their first time!

The new cafeteria can't fit all of our students at once, but it more than doubles the number of kids who can sit comfortably. The teachers have taken to using this meeting area for song and dance, but the true value of this new building won’t be realized until rainy days when the children will have a protected place to eat.

We thank you all for your continued support in bringing change to these kids’ lives – stay tuned for further updates on the completion of four new classrooms!