What We Are Actually Here to Do

After much anticipation each pair of volunteers were told their businesses half way through week one. To my delight we were assigned to Mummy’s Kitchen Foods a Ghanaian food and juice catering company mmmmm! Mummy’s Kitchen Foods is owned and run by Aunty Dela, one of the busiest and dedicated women I’ve met!

Just the other night she said:

“Where there is food there is fun”

“If the food I cook makes people happy then I am happy”.

A brief idea of the business: Aunty Dela started the company to be able to provide the kids at a local school with hot and healthy meals to stop them eating their packed lunches that would spoil in the heat. She has four employees helping her with the cooking. Having steady supply at the school, she now takes some orders from her local church and random requests from friends and family. She delivers everything to her customers that can be a NIGHTMARE in the Ghanaian traffic never mind lugging the huge food storage container onto a tro tro. EVERYTHING is cooked and prepared in her own kitchen, all necessary equipment and foodstuffs for her production are stacked in piles in her hall and all over her home. Supplies are also bought on a daily basis by taking a taxi or tro tro to the shops.

MFC

What we are here to do

On announcement of our businesses we were given the predetermined deliverables for each. For Mummy’s Kitchen foods ours are:

  1. Create a financial accounting and recording system
  2. Teach a member of staff to use the financial accounting recording and system
  3. Create a marketing strategy to increase the customer base
  4. Research funding options and create a file outlining the necessary documents and procedures needed in order to apply for each
  5. Write a business plan.

Aunty Dela has been fantastic with us and we are really looking forward to getting stuck in and getting the deliverables done. If I’m honest, I initially thought that wasn’t to bad a workload for 10 weeks split between two people. Now I can say that I was definitely wrong, is a lot of work, doable, but a lot when you take into account the daily differences in everything you do such as Ghana Man Time (its normal to be 1-2hours late for meetings) and also the access to information or missing financial documents can throw a toolbox never mind a spanner in the works. As usual, the lack of power and Internet can also cause inconveniences. However, when you’re here I’ve found that you take it into your stride and use it as a major part of the learning experience; I think by the time I arrive home my ability to have patience will have been quadrupled. Being in situations such as I have been describing gives you skills which in most environments would not be available to pick up yet the more you learn to use them and improvise when you’re here, the more invaluable they start to feel when think about using them out with the ICSE placement. Once a few weeks have gone by il post on the progress of the work and what we have been achieving at Mummy’s Kitchen Foods!

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