Pass the chapati: TCS students host Kenyan dinner

Posted by Community Relations staff on 2/14/2019

tcs hosts kenyan dinner

At The Community School, students spend the week between semesters investigating an interest. Some go rock climbing or winter hiking. Others learn book binding, song recording, or stagecraft at the Civic Theatre. And last week, one group hosted a Kenyan dinner for 75.

The event idea came from a collaboration with Dan Todd, founder of Inland Curry, who hosts an international dinner series featuring guest cooks from Spokane's refugee and immigrant communities. The profits from each dinner are donated to the refugee family, while attendees get to hear the family’s story and enjoy authentic cuisine from their homeland. For the TCS students, the Kenyan dinner was an ideal way to cap off a semester of learning about human rights, particularly as they apply to immigrants and refugees.

As hosts, students took charge of everything: purchasing and prepping the food, preparing the space, promoting the event, and meeting with refugee Maureen Ambani to hear her story and devise a creative way to help her tell it.

“It was so interesting to learn about where she came from and how this will impact her. It gives purpose to what we’re doing,” said senior Katelyn Devine. “I had so many questions for her.”

As she finished up some of the decorations, senior Monet Bailey talked about her motivation to help out with the dinner.

“We did a project about the number of refugees coming into the US. My father immigrated from Belize,” she said. “I like being able to help people in need, spread awareness, and then see the outcome.”

Despite an evening of inclement weather, people packed the unCommons at TCS. Students had constructed a large indoor tent using swaths of fabric in the colors of the Kenyan flag, and decorated it with twinkle lights to create a fun and intimate ambiance.

Guests ate at long tables, family style, and were waited on by students. During the dinner, Maureen shared her story of fleeing with her daughter from an abusive husband. Their road to Spokane was long, but she said she has found a home here.

“People don't believe it, but it really is true: this is the land of opportunity,” she said. “I've seen it.”

The event raised more than $700 for Maureen and her daughter.

“This school is really about working with the community and helping others,” Devine said. “And while we’re doing that we’re also learning. That’s the best thing about it.”

students help out at dinner