Our Dottie Scholars gathered in Mathare last Friday for a practical and interactive day on food, nutrition and looking after their health. The Dottie Scholars are a group of high achieving girls who have received high school scholarships through Dignitas. We accept a small intake each year and now have 31 girls in total, ranging from Form One through to Form Four.

Unlike other scholarship programs that focus primarily on academics, we’re passionate about providing the Dottie Scholars with personal development opportunities to prepare them for all aspects of life.

Facilitated by Christine Nderitu, a certified nutritionist, Friday’s workshop explored the different systems in the body, the importance of good nutrition and practical advice on being healthy.

The girls had a lot of smart questions for Christine, discussing portion sizes, water intake, nutritional needs and budgeting. Once all of the questions had been answered, the session got very practical as Christine led the group through preparing a traditional Kenyan stew in a healthier and more nutritious way.

 

As the girls sliced carrots, measured out the rice and began cooking, Christine shared tips on buying better produce, washing and preparing vegetables and adding flavor to meals without indulging in excess oil and salt.

Christine, left, splits the girls into two groups and explains the recipe they will cook.

On the menu: a traditional beef and veggie stew served with basmati rice.

The girls learn about kitchen hygiene, shopping tips and chopping techniques.

In Kenya, rice is often prepared with oil. The girls discover it’s possible to cook rice perfectly without it!

Christine provides a wealth of practical knowledge on healthy meal planning and cooking techniques.

Hands-on experience helps demonstrate and reinforce everything the Dottie Scholars have learnt.

Perhaps the best feedback from the girls was their comments that biology lessons had suddenly come alive and were relevant to their daily life – and the line up for second servings of lunch!

While the Dottie Scholarship program is just a small part of our overall program and model, it makes a huge impact in the lives of these girls. Dignitas gathers the Dottie Scholars together three times a year for personal and leadership development, because we’re committed to whole-person development – ensuring these students are equipped with the skills and strength of character to thrive and succeed!