The kitchen hopes it will restore the dignity of students.

Wits International Amnesty launched Kitchen Communal, a student-led initiative, which aims to end hunger at Wits University on Thursday, May 9.

Chairperson of Wits Amnesty, Sophia Sideras-Haddad said the launch was a success as the turnout of students shows the need for this initiative.

The aim of Kitchen Communal is “to create a space whereby students can prepare their meals in a dignified way,” Sideras-Haddad told Wits Vuvuzela.

The launch included a focus group to allow “students to have an input in how the kitchen will be run,” said Claire Tsumane, Wits Amnesty sub-committee head.

Wits Amnesty partnered with the Wits Citizen and Community Outreach (WCCO) and Co-operative and Policy Alternative Centre (COPAC), which funded and initiated the creation of the kitchen.

Karuna Singh, senior programme advisor at WCCO told Wits Vuvuzela, “I think the [launch] went very well as many students are interested in this facility.”

COPAC equipped kitchen  with a fridge, stove, oven, pots and crockery and cutlery which students can make use of. Sideras-Haddad said that the facility will allow students to have their say in how their meals are prepared.  During the focus group, Sing also encouraged students to cook the food they receive from the food bank at the Kitchen Communal.

Lethukuthula Mohlwayo, deputy chairperson of Wits International Amnesty said “the WCCO provides over 400 meals for students but not everybody gets the food so we want students who are not able to get the food to be able to cook for themselves,” he said.

Kwakhanya Pilane, a third year education student who attended the event told Wits Vuvuzela that she does not always get meals from the WCCO. “This will be an opportunity where I will be able to cook my own meals and for others,” she said.

The Kitchen Communal is based at The Sanctuary on Hostel Road close to the rugby fields.

“The ultimate aim eventually is to cook food for nearly 100 students a day,” said Sideras-Haddad.

FEATURED IMAGE:A group of volunteers who cooked for attendees of Kitchen Communal launch at The Sanctuary on Thursday, May 9. Photo: Lwazi Maseko