Kenya Bakery Parkbench

Parkbench Helps Open Up Bakery In Mitahato Village Kenya

This week is a particularly special week for our Behind The Bench blog: we were able to help contribute to the opening of the very first bakery/restaurant in the village of Mitahato, 35 kilometers from Nairobi in Kenya, Africa, as part of an initiative created by Parkbench Co-Founder & CMO, Amanda Newman’s, dad, Irving Newman. We were fortunate enough to help support the cause by donating an oven and other accessories to help get them started. We were very excited and humbled as a Team to partner with the Mitahato Education and Development Fund to contribute to such a wonderful milestone in the lives of these remarkable two women.

[Not a valid template]The opening of the bakery has forever changed the lives for Gladys and Cecelia and their families, both of whom will be running the bakery and perfecting their baking skills. Most notably, their birthday and wedding cake recipes! Having always been hardworking women, the opening of the bakery now gives them the opportunity to become self-reliant and learn new skills. And they’ve been taking full advantage of it, working day and night over the past 6 months to perfect their baking skills at the MEDF Teaching Farm. With their days beginning at the Rooster-hour of 5:30 am to buy firewood to heat the oven, they take full advantage of the wonderful opportunity to run their own business. The day’s menu starts with fresh banana bread cakes served with tea and coffee and for lunch there is black beans or njahi, green grams, rice and chapati.  

As a team at Parkbench, we’re very proud to be a part of this Project, and we wish Gladys and Cecelia and the Staff at MEDF  the best of luck with their new local bakery! While this is definitely a success story for the community, there are many more women and youth who need the same opportunity to have sustainable food and income security for their families. To learn more of the work of MEDF contact the Mitahato Education and Development Fund at or visit their website at www.mitahatoedf.comA Helping Hand can Change a Life Forever.

MEDF is a grassroots CBO (Community Based Organization) registered under the Kenyan Ministry of Gender and Youth Services. The CBO is located in Mitahato Village, Kinambu County and was founded in February 2013.

An interview with Irving Newman, Founder of MEDF.

What you’ve done so far that that has been a success?  
Our primary focus over the past 4 years has been our 1/4 Acre Model Teaching Farm where we have worked with smallholder farmers to best utilize their small pieces of land for food security and sustainable income generation. To further reach out to farmers we first partnered with GBS and then EBRU Africa TV to produce 3 seasons of the Kenya Farm Report, a magazine show for farmers highlighting the successful stories of Youth and Women in Agriculture as well as farm-related news and information segments.Today at MEDF we have refocused on three main Projects. They are:
FarmLINK Kenya – A web-based information center focusing on the needs of smallholder farmers. The portal provides comprehensive information on horticulture and small animal husbandry, Webinars, a Resource Library, an SMS Help Line, Live online classes, Government and Banking Services, a Market Place and live streaming news on Kenyan Agriculture and trending social media dialogue on farming.To know more of this project the link is:
HIV Family Initiative – We identify individuals, families and groups impacted by HIV and work with them to plant kitchen gardens for proper nutrition and supplementary income. When needed additional support is provided such as manual water pumps to bring water from the river. Families are clustered and monitored for support and follow-up. We extend our work into the Community by educating students on HIV through school visitations. Our Program has been recognized and approved by the DEO and Public Health Administration in Githunguri.
Skype in the Classroom is a partnership with Microsoft Inc. where we broadcast live on-line classes from the Teaching Farm to students around the World on smallholder agriculture in Kenya.  We also use this platform to promote cultural diversity teaching classes on traditional foods, Swahili language and community giving. We encourage our global teachers to support community giving through fundraising and adopting a family enrolled in our HIV Family Initiative.
What people can do to help AKA donate an oven for $1000 ?
Our most important Project is the HIV Family Initiative. We are beginning a new Campaign to raise $5,000 to support new families entering our program. Any donations would be greatly appreciated and have great impact on many lives and communities.