What is it?
In Kenya, Child.org train women to grow a kind of kale to support their families. The kale is known as sukuma wiki or “stretch the week” because it’s a nutritious and cheap way to bulk out your meals to last all week.
In the UK, so many of us are able to feast on an enormous variety of food on a weekly basis. Could you deal with a week of kale?
Take the Child.org Sukuma Wiki challenge!
Step one: We give you a list of just five ingredients for your week.
Step two: Use your creativity and cooking skills to eat like you're stretching your week with kale.
Step three: Share your journey with your friends and family and encourage them to donate. The money you raise will support families for whom a tough and limited diet is a weekly reality.
The Big Five
For one week, you can only eat...
You can use as much or as little of each ingredient as you like... But you're not allowed to eat anything else. Yes, after your third day of kale breakfast you'll be crying out for granola. That's what challenges are all about.
This is not a weight loss or hunger challenge. It's a challenge that's designed to give you a limited insight into the monotony of poverty, and a fresh appreciation of the luxury of a varied diet. Child.org care about you - we ask that you make sure you're eating plenty of food, stop if you feel ill, and do not continue the challenge beyond one week.
Every donation made to your challenge will be used by Child.org to support families living in poverty.
One of the ways we've been helping communities in Kenya is by providing mums with agricultural training. Women like Agnes, who can now grow enough food to feed her family.
Agnes' community also now have a water tank, so she can fetch water from nearby to water her garden. Selling the vegetables Agnes grows pays for her children to attend school.
The impact of a little knowledge goes a long way. If you believe in arming people with the knowledge they need to lift their family out of poverty, then please support Child.org by doing a week on the kale.
Team Kale Facebook group
You are not alone. Join our Team Kale support group on Facebook to share recipe ideas, rant about chapatis, brag about your fundraising total and explain why you're choosing #teamonion or #teamgarlic.
Download shareable images for your social media from our Flickr gallery.
Paper sponsorship form
If you wanna go old school and collect offline donations, then please use this paper form! Send it to the Child.org office (Child.org, studio 54, Hackney Downs Studios Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT) with a note of explanation and a cheque and we'll process it so that we can reclaim GiftAid on donations.
(Full disclosure: processing offline donations takes up more of our small team's time - so it's cheaper for us if you use an online fundraising page. But we understand that some people still like paper, so you're very welcome to use this method if it works for you!)
Get your hands on our high quality and beautiful Child.org merch by hitting your fundraising target! When you've raised over £100 on your page, ask your contact at Child.org to send you a lovely tote bag. Hit £200 and we'll send you one of our designer Child.org t-shirts in black or white.
What does Sukuma Wiki mean?
It's what Kenyans call a popular kind of kale. It means "stretch the week" - because kale is a good way to bulk out your diet if you're short of food.
Why must I eat kale?
Because kale is awesome, delicious, trendy, and a well-loved staple amoung the communities we support in Kenya.
What am I supposed to do with just flour?
Can I use other storecupboard ingredients?
It's up to you. We reckon that salt, pepper and cooking oil are fair game. Making your kale meals super interesting with a load of spices and extras from your fridge is not really in the spirit of the challenge.
What will my donations be spent on?
Helping children living in poverty to stay safe, healthy and able to access an education. To read more about the ways we do that, read more about our work here.
Can I use a JustGiving page / Facebook fundraiser / other fundraising platform instead of a Child.org fundraising page?
If you desperately want to. If you use our own donation pages you ensure that 100% of donations come directly to Child.org, and you help more people to learn about the charity. So we'd prefer it. But whatever floats your boat.
What if I want to take part but I'm allegic to one of The Big Five ingredients?
Swap it for something else. No one will mind. Something similar though, don't be swapping out tomato for Mars bars.
What are fundraising awards?
Small gifts that you can offer people in return for donating to support you. You can use them to encourage slightly larger donations and make your donors feel appreciated. We recommend something like:
Donate £10 and I'll record an effusive Thank You video.
Donate £20 and I'll bake you a Kale Kupcake
Donate £40 and I'll invite you over for a slap-up celebration dinner (once I'm back on normal food)
I have more questions
If you're in contact with a Child.org Charity Apprentice who has recruited you to their team, ask them! If not, ask Christie (below).
Our Sukuma wiki heroes
Child.org are working to improve the health of all pupils at Zulea's school. Many of the kids here walk a long way to school, but Zulea lives nearby. Recently, teachers have noticed that Zuela has taken it upon herself to help out other girls in her school who start their period unexpectedly. She helps them to tie a jumper round their waist, brings them to her health teacher to ask for sanitary towels, and takes them to her home to wash out their clothes before returning to school.
We asked Zuela what motivates her to help the girls. She said “They just... feel shy. So I find it in my heart to help them.”
Child.org’s HealthStart programme is teaching Zulea and her fellow pupils vital health information, from how to protect themselves from cholera to why it’s OK to go to school during your period.
The trip was organised by Amanjit and the group were accompanied by Cherio, Faith and Tyson, from our Nairobi office. Tyson is a new recruit to our Nairobi office, where he has been supporting on event logistics for Ride Africa.
From the study tour, Tyson was tweeting some really lovely updates from the trip about what all the ladies (and some husbands, or "Soroptomisters"!) were up to. We decided to ask him to take over the main Child.org Twitter account for the week, so he could tell the story of the trip through live updates, direct from Kenya. In case you missed it, here are his tweets.
She is spearheading Child.org’s move to project-manage our programmes more directly.
Cherio works in collaboration with our long-standing partners to manage our HealthStart programme, to ensure it is delivered in full and we are able to report our success comprehensively to our partners at Comic Relief.
Cherio is passionate about the health education of pupils. She recently saw an opportunity to improve pupils’ health education by creating a School Health Training Guide. The new guide is based on Government School Health Policy, but designed to be used by teachers and Student Health Clubs to foster a culture of student advocacy and peer-to-peer learning. It covers everything from clean water and nutrition to sexual health and healthy relationships, and was distributed to all HealthStart schools. Read more about the guide here!
I want to share with you all some of the truly incredible events being run over the next month. The brief for a Charity Apprentice's event is simple: it must aim to raise money (not awareness) and it must be desireable for people to want to go to, even if they've never heard of Child.org.
We've designed this module to be as close to professional charity event management work as possible. Each apprentice creates a budget and marketing plan. They have to pitch their plan to our event team for approval before they are allowed to go ahead - just as they would if they worked in our events team. Afterwards, they evaluate their success and areas for improvement in a debrief. It's a huge challenge for those with little or no events experience, but we've got a strong support team to guide them through the process.
Do have a browse through this selection of fantastic ways to spend your time. If you like the look of an event, tell your friends and book a ticket!
The Child.org team provide the Charity Apprentices with two event templates, which they can use to make it easier for them to design and brand their event:
Spectacular Cinema nights are immersive film experiences, where you get to enter the world of your favourite film for the evening. Apprentices' events feature everything from sing-alongs to secret cocktail bars, shark hunts to murder mysteries! Check them out at spectacularcinema.com
Listen Up events are interesting talks, like you might hear at a TED event or book through Funzing. We've got talks from adventurers, experts in sustainable fashion, and how to improve your photography! Check them out at listenuptalks.com
Some of our apprentices, who smashed their pitch, are even running editions of our extablished Spectacular Pub Quizzes. So if you've been hoping to catch our Wizardry Quiz to test your Harry Potter knowledge - you might want to check and see if they're bringing the quiz to a town near you! All these events are listed at spectacularpubquizzes.com.
Many apprentices had such a stonking creative plan for an event, that they decided to pitch their own idea! These guys had to create their own brands, and they've risen to the challenge brilliantly. Just look at some of the fantastic ideas they've come up with...
Community Beetle Drive in Duror on 17th April
Rewind: The Ultimate Throwback Quiz in London on 19th April
South Coast Sisters - women-led music night in Hastings on 20th April
Bingo Brunch in Manchester on 21st April
The Sunny Sailor with David Hughes and Jade North in Maldon on 21st April
Earth Day Upcycling for Kids: Turn plastic bottles into glow lamps in London on 22nd April
Always Sunny in Liverpool Party! on 27th April
A Classy Quiz Night in York on 28th April
90's Pub Quiz in London on 29th April
Eats with Beats in Leeds on 1st May
Roaring 20's Prohibition Party in Newcastle on 4th May
Superlative Jelly in London on 4th May
Buskers Ball in Kingston on 5th May
Around the World in 80 Minutes! Quiz in London on 6th May
May Day Mayhem in Liverpool on 6th May
RuPaul's Drag Race Quiz in Manchester on 8th May
Ipswich Quiz in Ipswich on 11th May
Games Night in London on 12th May
Cactus Garden X Concrete Workshop in London on 12th May
Brazillian Immersion Party in Reading on 12th May
One Hull of a Quiz in Hull on 15th May
International Art Festival in Manchester on 18th May
Back to the 80s Night in Barnsley on 18th May
Playsense Workshop in Cardiff on 20th May
Say Something in London on 26th May
Unity: The Art of Togetherness in London on 2nd June
Murder at the Manor in Lichfield on 2nd June
Not Just Any Quiz in Newcastle on 2nd June
The Child.org and Charity Apprentice teams are so incredibly proud of all the creativity, problem solving, and passion that these budding event managers have put into their events. Awesome work everyone.
I wanted to share an awesome recent achievement from the Child.org team, the creation of our brand new School Health Training Guide. It's a hefty 136 page book that's designed to help our HealthStart schools to encourage peer-to-peer learning and create a culture of health and safety in their school.
Cherio had the idea for the guide when she was working closely with our Health Clubs at HealthStart schools in Kisumu. At Kenyan schools, it's national policy to create a school Health Club - a group of pupils who meet and take responsibility for creating a safe and healthy environment for all pupils.
In HealthStart schools, the Health Club work hard and take practical steps to improve their school - they clean toilets, refill water stations, ensure provision of hand washing facilities. But we also encourage them to learn about and promote healthy behaviour, and to champion the voices of their fellow pupils to school management. This new guide, Cherio envisaged, would be designed to support and encourage this kind of activity.
Creating a comprehensive guide like this was a big project for the team. It was particularly lovely for our UK and Nairobi offices to work so closely together on a creative project: Cherio and the programming team in Nairobi were drafting content for the book, and here in London, I was working on the writing style and structure, while Clare designed activities, proofed everything and sourced a monumental amount of photographs from our library to illustrate the book. We were working with designer Sam Walter, who had to create an entirely new visual style for the guide - this was the first time Child.org had ever actually had to design something for children to use and read!
What's in the guide?
At all points in the guide there are information sections to read out to a group or class, paired with activities to encourage the children to engage in games, exercises and active discussions around the topic they are learning about.
The guide is divided into three sections. The first helps the school to form their Health Club and teaches children about leadership, avocacy and good governance. The second section gives a comprehensive overview of school health, based on the priorities of Kenya's national policy. The third section of the guide teaches children specifically about sexual health and relationships.
These are some of my favourite learning topics and section titles from the guide, just to give you an idea of how comprehensive it is!
- How, and why, should pupils have a say in the running of your school?
- Life Skills: Decision Making. A six step approach to help you make good decisions, large and small.
- How to influence and communicate with people, without bullying them
- Children with special needs and disabilities: how can your school do more to be accessible for everyone?
- The difference between clean and dirty water, and how to make water safe
- Why you should wash your hands
- Nutrition and the value of eating a balanced diet
- Prevention of diseases including malaria, cholera, and pneumonia
- The male and female reproductive systems, and how they work
- Menstruation, and why it's important for both boys and girls to learn about it
- What to expect from puberty
- Prevention and effects of HIV/AIDs
- Healthy and unhealthy relationships: how to recognise when a relationship is unhealthy
Many of the topics covered in the book are very similar to those we would learn about in the UK. But there are some stark differences that reminded me of the very different problems children are facing in these schools: from "the signs and symptons of malnutrition" to "living positively with HIV".
Our HealthStart schools received the guide around the start of this year. In the gallery below are some photographs from Ayucha primary school, on the day Cherio visited all 25 of our HealthStart schools to give out the books.
Cherio visited Thurbie primary recently, and asked if they were finding the guide useful. She was pleased to see that it was already being used by the school, and the school health teacher, Linet, had this to say:
Providing a comprehensive school health programme like HealthStart is about so much more than the standard interventions that you might expect us to fund in schools, like deworming tablets or sanitary towels. It's about arming the school with the knowledge and structures they need to create their own improvements, long after Child.org have gone. Our new School Health Guide is a great example of this kind of work, and I'm very proud to have worked on it.