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Cheese!

Cheese, Gouda to be more precise, is a very important part of life at the Lewa Children’s Home. Not that it is present in the children’s diet – they prefer their milk in a liquid, fermented form (called mala) – but because it is sold to families and businesses throughout Kenya and even all the way to Uganda and Europe!

This is gouda

This is gouda

The Baraka Farm, masterfully managed and developed by Dutch farmer Jos Creemers for the past 20 years, produces milk, fruits, vegetables, maize, meat and the famous Gouda for the children of Lewa and for sale on the local market. The proceeds from the sales are used to support the orphanage’s daily operational expenses. As any agri-business owner knows, this is not easy; because you first need to cover your own production costs…

Jos checks on his cows

Jos checks on his cows

Bread and Water for Africa UK has recently funded the expansion of the Cheese kitchen. The building is completed and the machines are ready to be shipped from Holland. This new facility will allow the Baraka Farm to process almost all of its milk (currently 500.000 Liters of milk per year!!) into cheese, which sells at a higher price than the unprocessed milk. The new cheese factory will even be able to purchase milk from the local dairy farmers in Eldoret, ensuring them a fair and stable income.

The new Baraka Farm cheese factory

The new Baraka Farm cheese factory

The new cheese factory, once fully operational, will therefore generate a significant additional income for the Home. This has always been a major goal for Phyllis: to become self-sufficient and stop relying exclusively on donations. In the current economic climate, the implementation of these projects, with crucial investments from Bread and Water for Africa, couldn’t have been more timely. It is still a long way until Lewa becomes financially independent – as a children’s Home, it may never be – but these carefully planned and forward-thinking projects allow the Home to make long-term plans for their children. For Phyllis, as for any mother, her children’s future is the number one priority.

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