It is a huge challenge to describe everything these two women do for Eating Stone.
First and foremost, Mum Jackie and Mum Agnes are mothers to all the children at Eating Stone – just the same as if they were the children’s biological mums. These mums’ responsibilities are the same as any mum’s: care, feeding, ensuring the children attend school, and being a shoulder to cry on – except there are over 65 children!
The mums manage all day-to-day aspects of this rather large household, which includes:
- overseeing the children as they organise themselves into rotas and teams for managing the food stores (learning the quantities & ingredients for each meal), cooking, cleaning and everything else; and
- coordinating volunteers from the community, usually local women who make and serve “uji” (drinkable porridge) in the morning, and also prepare and serve lunch.
The mums have essential administrative responsibilities as well:
- Jackie Awono’s position as Board Secretary is the non-profit equivalent of corporate secretary. She is an executive member of the board of directors and is responsible for maintaining all of Eating Stone’s and Wisdom Academy’s records. She ensures they’re accurate, meet all legal requirements, and are filed with the various authorities by the relevant deadlines. She also manages communications with the board and maintains board meeting minutes and resolutions.
- Agnes Atieno’s position as Treasurer is the non-profit equivalent of finance director. She is an executive member of the board of directors and is responsible for not only balancing the meagre budget, but also financial reporting to both relevant authorities and the board.
Other responsibilities, with a twist
If you’ve ever joked about the “other responsibilities” clause in a job description, you probably never considered examples like these:
One day, a 7-year-old girl presented herself to Jackie and Agnes. Her mother died when she was 5, there was no father, and the girl had been living with her elderly and ill grandmother. She is now an Eating Stone child.
Hannah, the wife of the neighbour, has provided sukumu wiki (kale) from her plot to the children for many years. Hannah and her husband live about 1.5 kms from Eating Stone.
Since the pandemic, Hannah loads the kale onto her cart and sends her donkey to Eating Stone. She phones Jackie or Agnes, to tell them the donkey is on its way. When the donkey arrives at the gate, the children unload the kale and send the donkey home.
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