published in RefugeesWomen / Girls on March 22, 2018

Feeding the 5,000

Cecilia is a refugee at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, where you support the Reception Centre managed by our partner Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

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When 5,000 people have to be fed each day, you not only need 14 cooks – but those cooks may have to work 5am – 8pm each day, with not even time off for church!

Cecilia is also one of 14 refugee cooks who in 2016 alone cooked daily meals to welcome 23,921 people newly arrived from conflict-torn countries like South Sudan, Somalia and Burundi. At peak times, up to 5,000 people per day had to be fed.

FOODDaily ration (grams)
Veg. oil35
Corn Soy Blend40
Total560 gms per person per day


Maize. Beans. Corn-Soy Blend porridge. These are basic meals but after what people have suffered on their refugee journey, they are healthy and hearty.

Cecilia’s co-worker, Fatuma Ahmedi, explains:
“We are mothers at home, and have responsibilities of taking care and providing for our families
and the relatives we are staying with. We have to prepare our children to go to school, attend
to meetings at school and church functions, but we sacrificed during this period for the sake of new arrivals.”

A visitor might not see the ‘sacrifice’, as the cooks attend their work – which can stretch from 5am to 8pm at night – with bright happy gospel songs!

People newly arrived at Kakuma spend around 10 days at the Reception Centre, recovering from their journey, being assessed for any trauma they may have suffered, and being set up with the basics for housing, bedding, mosquito nets, clothes and household utensils.

The average time someone spends in a refugee camp is 17 years.

Your kindness through ALWS supports people like Cecilia and Fatuma (refugees themselves) to ‘welcome the stranger’ at Kakuma on your behalf. Thank you!

Jesus asked his disciples to bring the food to him, and he told the crowd to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and blessed the food. There were about five thousand men who ate, not counting the women and children. – from Matthew 14:18 -21 (CEV)