Mama's Cooking

Staying true to our "Zero Handout" policy, we dedicate a majority of our time to coming up with innovative ways to support students and their families. While it isn't always easy to tell a student that we cannot sponsor them, the rewards that comes from empowering them and their parents through other endeavors is more valuable than just a one time payment of school fees.

One example is how we have hired three of our neighbors to help at The Center in exchange for payment for tuition. Meet Mama Mellan, Mama Tendo and Mama Jazil. These three cook lunch at The Center Monday through Friday for Action in Africa's staff. 

Mama Shaki, Mama Mellan, Mama Tendo

Mama Shaki, Mama Mellan, Mama Tendo

Lunch is promptly served at 1pm. Each mama has their own style of cooking, adding her own flavor and spices. The food served rotates between matoke, posho, beans, rice, gnut sauce and cabbage. And it is always DELICIOUS!

Since Action in Africa’s foundation is deeply rooted in education, we prioritize ensuring that first and foremost their children are in school. Having the mamas cook, allows us to guarantee school fees paid directly to the school and on time. When we first started this endeavor three out of their five school aged children were not in school. We are proud to say that now every single one of the kids are in school and their tuition is paid for because of their mom’s hard work.  

Mama Shaki preparing lunch by cutting carrots, onions and green peppers. 

Mama Shaki preparing lunch by cutting carrots, onions and green peppers. 


Matoke: A starchy banana similar to plantains that is cooked and mashed for a filling and delicious dish.

Posho: The most common starch eaten in this region of Africa. It is maize flour cooked to a dough like consistency that is delicious when eaten with beans.

Beans: A staple to the Ugandan diet. Cooked with onions, tomatoes, carrots, green pepper, salt, and curry powder.

Rice: Rice is usually either steamed or fried. Each of the moms cook the rice in their own way.

Gnut sauce: A thick sauce made from peanuts to go with the starches. Our favorite!