Home Links About Us Who's Who Deanery Projects

 Biggleswade Deanery

Diocese of St Albans

A partly rural deanery, with a tradition of joint worship and an active synod.

Diocese of St Albans

2018 Deanery Project

The Kasiisi Porridge Project

What and where is the Kasiisi Porridge Project?  

The Kasiisi Porridge Project was registered with the Charity Commission in July 2006 and has existed to raise money to feed primary schoolchildren living in rural Western Uganda, near the Kibale National Forest.  By 2009, we had funded latrines, water barrels and kitchens in two large schools and provided the first porridge. Since then some 1000 children have been fed daily and we have found an increase in academic attainment, energy levels and school attendance, especially among girls.

Why school meals?  

While visiting my brother, Richard Wrangham’s Chimpanzee Research Centre, I spent some time in the local schools and saw their difficulties first hand. It quickly dawned on me that the children had a very hard day indeed, walking a long way to school, sometimes barefoot and without breakfast.  A number of them were aids orphans, looking after themselves and their younger siblings, as well as the goats, hens and garden if lucky enough to have them. It is of course difficult to learn if you are hungry, and with classes of 100 children, with no electricity or running water on the school sites, it seems remarkable that any learning happened at all.  When I asked the Headteacher what was at the top of her wish list, she declared it was a daily mug of maize flour porridge for every child.

How do we know the money goes to the right people?

We work in partnership with the Kasiisi Project and share their longstanding and reliable accounting system and staff.  Regular onsite monitoring and advice is given by volunteers from AfID (Accounting for International Development) visiting from the UK, and there is strict supervision by our Project Director, Dr Emily Otali.

Now what?  Will we go on raising money forever?

No. However, to keep the project going in the future, we bought land and have developed a school farm, with pigs, chickens, bees and crops.  A well has been installed, buildings constructed and farm workers are employed, with casual labour and volunteers in addition. Now we plan an ecocampsite on the land to accommodate agricultural students, volunteers and other visitors.  

What is the chosen project for the Deanery in 2018?

The 2018 Biggleswade Deanery Project, proposed by the Benefice of Dunton, Eyeworth and Wrestlingworth, is a new solar-powered shower block on Kasiisi School Farm.  The farm is on the way to becoming a centre of excellence and agricultural training, and the land in question has been cleared and terraced, ready for building on later this year.  The shower block will cost around £2,300 and another £700 for the solar element, totalling £3000. This is an exciting step for us because training is of huge importance to local people whose future lies in farming.  So we need to be able to accommodate visiting groups on a simple ecocampsite.  

Kate Wrangham-Briggs, Director