Students from the EMCS Culinary Arts program have been fundraising to buy large water tanks for villages in Kenya.

Global issues link EMCS students to Africa

Students preparing for annual buffet dinner on November 15

Edward Milne community school culinary students will be cooking and serving for a good cause at their Annual Class Buffet on Nov. 15.

“The big feature this year is we’re fundraising for villages in Kenya,” said EMCS culinary arts teacher, Pia Carroll.

The dinner will include a silent auction, which will raise money to purchase large water tanks for Narok, Kenya and surrounding villages. Proceeds will also be used to fund antiretrovirals for HIV and other basic necessities like food.

Funds from the event will be given to the Victoria International Development Education, which will earmark the money for its associated organization, Positively Africa.

“They make sure the money goes right to the place in Africa,” Carroll said.

According to Carroll, working with Positively Africa has given students a direct link to global issues outside of the community.

“It’s been, really, an advantage for the kids to learn about what’s going on in the world instead of just Sooke,” Carroll said.

“This is much more tangible because they’re working with their hands and they’re going to help people survive and have a healthier life by having fresh water in the villages.”

Grade 12 culinary arts student, Joseph Rudasill, said working with Positively Africa has been rewarding.

“I feel really special doing this because we’re helping people so far away who need help getting just water. They travel kilometres just to get water,” he said.  “I would definitely want to do more work like this.”

The students have already raised $1,000 for one water tank through lunch sales.

On the menu are mouth-watering courses like citrus brined turkey roast with savoury herb stuffing and local huckleberry jelly and rolled pork loin roast with apple, sage stuffing and crab apple California bay jelly.

Most of the ingredients will also be sourced locally, including crab, tuna loins, wild salmon, prawns and vegetables from the school’s garden.

“We have this incredible bounty of food and we like to support local,” Carroll said.

There will be something on the menu for everyone, including gluten-free and vegetarian friendly items.

There will be a total of 65 culinary arts students involved, working as cooks or servers.

Carroll said the event allows students to exhibit their talent and demonstrates the various capacities they can work in the food industry — from cruise ships to hotels to small restaurants.

“I love it because it invites their families, their aunts and uncles and granddads and grandparents to come in and see what they’re doing,” she said.

Tickets are $25, and are available at the EMCS school office or program office.

The event begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Upper Commons area of the high school.

For more information on Positively Africa, visit: www.positivelyafrica.org/