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Thousands of children go hungry every day.
Buy a meal and change a life.

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These children are the future and Ruff's Kitchens is giving them a fighting chance in life by providing a nutritious meal every day at school

About the Charity

Ruff’s Kitchens is a charitable foundation set up to feed Zimbabwe’s vulnerable school children. We currently feed over 5000 children every school day, with an aim to increase this number. Together with your kind donations, we can achieve this goal.

Zimbabwe was once a flourishing nation, often referred to as the “breadbasket of Africa.” However, issues such as low employment, climate change and poor governance have had a severe impact on the country, forcing a large percentage of the population into poverty. With food already scarce, the issues surrounding hunger are further exacerbated by an ever-expanding population – and children are amongst the most affected.

It is not uncommon for Zimbabwe’s youth to arrive at school with empty stomachs. In some instances, the children may have made their long journey on foot, unsure of when their next meal may be. There is no food provided at school and no guarantee of a meal when they get home. These children are the future of Zimbabwe, therefore the hope for a positive future lays in their hands – which is why we want to do all we can to support them.

Ruff’s Kitchens was launched in April 2012 and is run by its founder, Jonathan Ruff, and Sharon Thompson from Zimbabwe’s Children. The charitable foundation currently supports 8 primary schools and 6 Early Childhood Development centres (ECDs), with each child receiving a nutritious, porridge-based meal packed with vitamins, minerals and energy.

As a result, the schools in Ruff’s Kitchens’ feeding programme have seen an average 50% rise in attendance. The children are happier, healthier and have higher energy levels, which in turn enhances their concentration and improves their learning. Just one simple meal each day can make a world of difference to their lives, which is why we’re so determined to increase our daily donations.

Ruff’s Kitchens manages every aspect of the program in order to ensure every penny is spent on feeding the children. We have personally sourced the food from a local supplier who then delivers it directly to the rural schools’ kitchens. It is vital that basic needs are met (health, diet, education and sanitation), and therefore hygiene is a priority. Similarly, training and a manual is provided to ensure that storage, preparation and exact portion quantity are each properly managed.

All equipment is supplied by Ruff’s Kitchens: this includes mixing pots, weighing scales, bowls, spoons, disinfectant and washing utensils. Our hard-working field officer, Peter, does weekly checks to ensure that everything is running smoothly.

Ruff’s Kitchens’ invaluable contribution to the health and well-being of Zimbabwe’s children has lasting benefits to the lives, education and health of local communities. Due to the positive impact already made by the charitiable foundation, there are plans to open more kitchens with an aim to feed over 10,000 children each day across 30 schools by 2021.

Together, we can change children’s lives.

15,514,061 Meals served since 2012
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FAQs

  • Why Zimbabwe?

    A very good question! When Jonathan first had the idea to launch a feeding program, he reached out to many charitable organisations working in poor, developing countries. To his surprise, many said no or just wanted the money to use for their own charitable purposes. This did not fit with Jonathan’s objective of 100% of the funds going directly to those who need it, as opposed to an executive who could utilise the money in their own fashion. After months of reaching out to many charities, one responded: Zimbabwe’s Children, who shared the same aims as the team at Ruff’s Kitchens. That’s how it began!

  • What type of food do you feed the children?

    A traditional porridge-based drink called Mahewu which is easy to make in large quantities and can be stored for long periods of time. A tailor-made recipe has been created for Ruff’s Kitchens to include essential vitamins and minerals for developing children and for those taking Anti-Retroviral medication for HIV/AIDS. As well as being nutritionally beneficial, the children love how it tastes!

  • How does £10 feed a child for a year?

    While we’re grateful to accept donations of any size, you can help make a difference by pledging just £10.

    Thanks to your generous donations, we’re currently able to feed thousands of children at school each term. It’s this volume of donations which enables us to reduce the cost of food per head – put simply, the more money raised, the greater the quantity of food we’re able to purchase from local suppliers.

    In addition to providing a daily meal to Zimbabwe’s most vulnerable school children, we’re able to support those working on small farm-holdings by purchasing the maize from them directly. It is important that the maize sourced is of a high quality, and this is something which remains under review, but here at Ruff’s Kitchens we are determined to help Zimbabwe’s people out at any level possible. By purchasing maize from those who make a living from the land, we’re helping to empower local farmers and therefore provide extra support to communities in need.

  • When I buy a meal for a child, what happens next?

    Your contribution will not only maintain the amount of children we are feeding – it will help us to INCREASE the numbers. Thanks to the donations we receive, we will grow the number of schools we work with each school term and can commit to feeding their children for a year.

  • Will I get updates?

    Yes. We have a Facebook page where we will post regular updates, and you will also receive a monthly newsletter by email.

  • Does Zimbabwe need a feeding program?

    YES! Our founder Jonathan has visited Zimbabwe many times and has experienced the country’s wonderful hospitality, though he has also seen the immense suffering firsthand. 74% of the Zimbabwean population live in poverty, and it is estimated that these statistics will worsen by 10% every year. According to the 2015 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey report, around 27% of children under five years old suffer from stunted growth, with 9% considered ‘seriously stunted’ as a result of poor nutrition. In addition to the childrens’ physical health being hindered, their mental health is also impacted: without proper nutrition, it can be difficult for Zimbabwe’s youth to take in the information they’re taught at school. Ruff’s Kitchens aims to ensure that every child can have the best learning experience possible – in fact, the offer of a free meal every day incentivises the children to come to school, which is reflected in their increased attendance!

  • How are the funds distributed?

    All the funds go to Zimbabwe to pay for the food, the equipment needed to serve the food, and to pay the field officers who monitor the feeding program. Every penny donated goes to making Zimbabwe a better place.

  • What is Ruff's Kitchens' charitable foundation number?

    The registration for Ruff’s Kitchen Charitable Trust is NPO1139.

If you have a question that is not covered above, then email me and I’ll be happy to help: jonathan@ruffventures.co.uk

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