Supporting Community Cooking – At Tamil Madiya Maha Vidiyalaya(Senior) School, Vavuniya
With the influx of new arrivals to Vavuniya during the 2nd week of Feb 2009, around 2000 families (4500-5000 persons) were accommodated at Tamil Madya Maha Vidyalam, Vavuniya. CHA received a request from the Government Agent requesting 4000 lunch packets to be provided. We obliged with this request and continued the feeding programme until the people in this school were transferred to Veerapuram Transitional Camps.
WFP provided, Rice, Dhal, Sugar, Flour and Oil per person, CHA utilizing grants provided three cooked meals with all other supplementary items, approximately 15 Volunteers and all CHA Vavuniya districts staff came together to facilitate this process, working 7 days a week and very long hours. The first few weeks were very difficult as we had to ensure supply of material, cooking and supply of food on time, distribution, drainages, security, firewood etc.
The people located in the camp were divided into 6 groups and each group consisted of nearly 700 people. From each group around 20 people engaged in community cooking daily on a roster basis.
These cooking groups did cleaning, chopping of vegetables, cooking and distribution of three meals for that particular day. Two experienced cooks assisted these groups to do bulk cooking. Cleaning, washing and cooking takes place in the temporary kitchen sheds put up in the school ground.
All camp inmates were provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner for the period of 4 months. Vegetables, spices and non vegetarian food, such as eggs, fish, dry fish and meat were given to cooking groups on daily basis to prepare meals for the day.
Community support cooking started on 26th February 2009 and continued up to 15th June 2009 and stopped due to lack of funds.
This progame has been supported by multiple donors, but mainly by the Dutch government. Donations have been received from IMHO, All Ceylon Hindu Society and Good Neighbors as well.