WASH Project for Celebrations Book

Since the beginning...we at Mennonite Girls Can Cook have used any and all funds generated through the blog or cookbook to feed the hungry.  With our first cookbook we sponsored a greenhouse project at The Good Shepherd Shelter in Ukraine.  With the Celebrations cookbook we have chosen to use our royalties for the first year to provide clean water for school children in Kenyan through the WASH program...a project of Mennonite Central Committee.  

 (photo credit MCC)

Mrs. Christine (shown here with two of her children)...was part of the WASH pilot project and says the program has changed the life of her family. 

The WASH program has three functions...'WA' for water...'S' for sanitation and 'H' for hygiene.  Besides providing safe drinking water for the children, their families also receive an education in sanitation and personal cleanliness.   

The WASH program was first implemented at Menno Kids Academy...in the Mathare North slums of Nairobi in the fall of 2010.  Several months later, Judy and her husband  traveled to Kenya and had the opportunity to visit the school.  They were involved in the distribution of blankets and school kits...and also learned firsthand what a difference clean water was making in the lives of those students. Previous to the introduction of the WASH program, many children missed school due to illness.  It wasn't long before teachers noticed a dramatic improvement in school attendance.  Education is important for these children..opening the door to new opportunities and often their only ticket out of poverty.  So to see the absentee rate decline so dramatically due to the WASH program was a real encouragement.

 (photo credit Judy Wiebe)

The clean water for the students is produced through SODIS technology.  Plastic bottles are filled with water and then placed on racks in the direct sunlight for 6 to 8 hours. The ultraviolet rays kill all water-borne pathogens...making the water safe to drink.  Every student is given four bottles to use...two for at home and two for at school.  The bottles on the racks today are tomorrow's safe drinking water.

 (photo credit Judy Wiebe)

These area few of the students at the Menno Kids Academy that have had the privilege of drinking clean water for these past few years.  The program has now expanded to the Mukuru slum...and will also be introduced in other areas where water safety is an issue as funds are made available. It is our privilege to be a part of this program!

We are so thankful for another opportunity to use our resources to help needs around the world. 
For additional information on how you can support the WASH program, click on the link here.

Some of you have had questions about using plastic bottles in the water project in Kenya.
Here is a response from Dan Wiens, MCC’s food security and livelihoods coordinator:

Our partner organization determined that plastic bottles work best for this project in this context, and we agree. Glass is not readily available, it is expensive and it breaks. (Also, this project targets students from elementary age on up who carry and use the bottles daily, much like students in Canada or the U.S. carrying around a water bottle in a school setting.) To protect against substances from the plastic leaching into the water, the bottles we use in Kenya are BPA-free. We were very specific and intentional about this in the plan. This is why all the bottles used in the project are purchased (as opposed to getting students to bring bottles from home). Using BPA-free bottles also is part of the education program.


  1. I love this kind of success story. What a worthy cause to support this program. Something as simple as letting the ultra violet rays of the sun sanitize water is just wonderful.

    Congratulations on being so successful in your efforts to help the less fortunate.
    May God bless you all a thousand fold for all you are doing.


  2. I just received my cookbook and I love it! I am going to buy one for all of my family and friends for Christmas and tell them about your WASH project. Thanks for the work that you put into the cookbook! It really is first-rate.


  3. you girls are so impressive!thankyou for making this a better world. i discovered you today but will be visiting often, the food looks delicioussssss!will be trying recipes.god bless!

  4. This is indeed a very worthy project. I will tell my friends about it. Water is a precious commodity!! We take it for granted. Janet