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Bringing Hope to Kenya: A Zambrero Vision Trip

By Scott Chapman on July 9, 2024

A few weeks ago, I returned from an inspiring seven-day vision trip to Kenya, alongside partners from Zambrero, Rise Against Hunger and Rural Family Hope. This journey wasn’t just about exploring new landscapes, but about witnessing the transformative impact of our collective efforts to combat hunger and poverty in Africa.

The Power of Partnership

As a multisite franchise partner at Zambrero, my wife and I have been committed to the brand’s Plate 4 Plate initiative for the past 11 years. Through this program, for every meal sold at our 11 restaurants, a meal is donated to someone in need. To date, we’ve contributed around 3 million meals, while Zambrero has donated more than 80 million meals globally — a testament to what can be achieved through dedicated partnership.

Witnessing Change in Kenya

During our stay, we visited Awendo, Simbauti and Tindereti Primary Schools in Nyamira County. These schools are part of the feeding programs run by Rise Against Hunger, and it was there that we saw the direct effects of these initiatives. The programs do more than just feed children; they motivate them to attend school regularly, thus playing a crucial role in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Attendance rates at these schools have surged, health issues like crusted scabies have significantly declined and overall well-being has improved dramatically. The joy on the children’s faces as they received their meals — and their eagerness to learn — was profoundly moving.

A Glimpse into School Life

Each school, while facing similar challenges, was unique in its atmosphere and resources. Despite many children walking long distances to school without shoes and learning with minimal resources, their gratitude and happiness were overwhelming. The schools serve nutritious meals, including rice, beans, sweet potatoes and peanut sauce, accompanied by clean drinking water from newly installed tanks.

Moreover, the introduction of 4K clubs within the schools teaches both teachers and students sustainable agriculture, further aiding in alleviating household food scarcity.

Beyond the Classroom

Our trip wasn’t all work; it included moments of cultural immersion and relaxation. We enjoyed local beers while watching the State of Origin rugby game in Landcruiser troop carriers and experienced the natural wonders of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, where we saw lions, elephants, giraffes and more. A visit to a Maasai village provided us with a deeper understanding of the local culture.

Reflections and Insights

This trip was a powerful reminder of the impact we can have through collective efforts. The statistics in Africa are stark — with over 282 million people across the continent facing hunger and approximately 40% of sub-Saharan Africa living below the poverty line. Globally, nearly 10% of the world population is hungry. But in the faces of the children and communities we met, we see the hope and potential for change.

By supporting education through feeding programs, we are not just filling stomachs but nurturing minds that will one day transform their communities. This vision trip has not only solidified my commitment to Zambrero’s mission but has also inspired me to advocate even more passionately for global food security and educational support.

Together, we are making strides toward a world where no child goes to school hungry, and every community has the chance to thrive.

Interested in finding out how you can be part of the movement to end hunger? Visit our How You Can Help page to learn more! Plus, stay tuned for a full story series about our work to end hunger in Kenya coming later this year.