Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cooking is my passion

by Thomas Bwire

Meet Patience Masaku, age 15, whose dream is to become a top chef in the near future. Dressed in a white apron, I find her busy in the kitchen where she is currently preparing a meal of spaghetti for lunch together with two of her classmates. Their tutor is closely monitoring the on-goings.  I steal a few moments to take a few photos of her, so as to create ample time for our interview.

Patience is one of the beneficiaries of Uweza sponsorship program, which is on its first year of supporting students who are in vocational technical trainings institutions within Kibera. Patience shared with me that her passion for cooking is what drove her to wish undertake a catering course. She appreciates that her tutor Rose Karanja has been inspirational to her as she takes them through their lessons.

Patience with tutor Rose Karanja
Patience is currently undertaking a yearlong catering course at the PCEA Kibera Emmanuel Technical Training Centre. Upon finishing eight years in primary school, she opted to undertake the course with an aim of learning more cooking skills.

According to the tutor Rose Akinyi, the aim of the technical training centre is to build and impact skills in interested students to learn cooking skills. She says that the course offered is tailored to cater to the young people and elderly. “Here you will find that for those ones who are not able to pay for 10 month training course, then we have short courses of three months that they can enroll in to enhance their skills."  She also adds Patience is keen enough and has great potential as she asks for advice whenever she in doubt.  Enrolled students undertake units like food and beverage production, service and sales.

Patience and her classmates
According to Mathew Muema, the Uweza Sponsorship Coordinator, there are a number of factors put into consideration when sending students to undertake vocational trainings. “First we look at the performance of the child when it comes to primary and secondary national exam results.  If they performed poorly or they are challenged academically, then we come in to give advice.  Also through the help of our counselor Becky Gitau, kids are able to understand from their hearts their passions and what they really want to do in life,”  notes Mathew.

Counseling helps both the student and the parent or guardian make a wise choice in the course they will undertake by the end of the day. All said and done, we do wish Patience all the best  in her endeavor.

To learn more about how to sponsor Patience and other Kibera students, click here.

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