Posted on November 20, 2011 by Silvia Ashmore — 2 Comments
Kristi Lewandowski, Senior Account Executive and Sam Whitby, UK Operations Manager
On Nov. 11, several WE-UK employees volunteered with Kids Company, a London-based charity that supports vulnerable inner-city children, to spend the day cooking with children in a local classroom. The goal of the day was to interact and teach kids in Grade 1 (5-6 year olds) how to cook. The day was broken into two sessions (30+ kids each) where the staff cooked and spent time with one classroom of kids in the morning and a second set of kids in the afternoon.
During the sessions we helped teach the kids how to make three different recipes. The first was the London favorite Banoffee Pie, where the kids learned skills like safe chopping, whisking cream and smashing cookies to make pie crust. The second recipe was a more exotic Moroccan Couscous, where the kids got to experience different spices, learn another chopping skill and how to measure ingredients. The last recipe really engaged everyone, by making smoothies that were blended using the pedal power of a bicycle. In order to properly blend the smoothies the kids had to nominate three adults to take turn pedaling the bike before they could enjoy the smoothies.
It was a great experience for the kids and the WE staff. While kids learned basic cooking skills, the staff was able to utilize skills not used in our everyday jobs. From bike riding abilities, to playing games with the children, to the most difficult task of answering the really tough questions only kids can ask. The biggest takeaway was that when working with someone new, be it a client, influential or kids, we need to adjust our communication approach and find commonalities. Which could be as simple as pretty headbands or a love of kittens.
Kids Company provides practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children. Their services reach 14,000 children across London, including the most deprived and at risk whose parents are unable to care for them due to their own practical and emotional challenges. Kids Company provides a safe, caring, family environment where support is tailored to the needs of each individual. Their services and support empower children who have experienced enormous challenges to lead positive and fulfilling lives. Despite great difficulties, the children they work with are hugely courageous and embrace the support they offer.