The Dream Community Kitchen Project
A Shared-Use, Cooperative, Healthy-Snack Kitchen
St. Martha Estates, Bocaue-Bulacan, Philippines.


We want to build a shared-use kitchen in a large community of very poor ex-squatters to produce and market healthy snacks. A cooperative of poor mothers will operate the kitchen. Hundreds of children in the community are underweight and malnourished because they don’t have access to nutritious food.  So, the healthy snacks will be nutritious and affordable while sales will provide extra income to over a dozen families. 


Building this ‘dream’ kitchen will cost only US $27,000 (3 million Japanese yen). Your support will help the mothers improve children’s health. Thanks for considering his project!

Note: We initially started this campaign to raise 1.8 million yen, which is for building only a kitchen part of the entire building. Since we already finish raising 1.8 million yen thanks to generous supports from the over 50 supporters, we decided to raise additional 1.2 million yen till July 24th so that we can build the entire building of ‘dream’ kitchen.




Kamal Freda has been working with “informal settlers” (squatters) in the Philippines for the past five years. 


Our first efforts were to help the charcoal makers of the “Ulingan” in Manila’s Smokey Mountain district find a way to make charcoal with smoke free kilns. However, before we could build new kilns, the community was demolished by the government and several hundred families moved to a resettlement community known as St. Martha Estates in Bocaue, Bulacan. Since their arrival, another 3,000 squatter families (15,000 people) from metro-Manila have also been relocated there. 


Conditions in the Ulingan were terrible, children could hardly breath. Len Len (above) and her family were relocated to St. Martha Estates where there is clean air but no jobs. Her father stayed behind to work as a laborer in the port of Manila;her mother, a live in maid in Manila,  gets only one day a month off to visit her in St. Martha.
 In the meantime, Len Len, now age 16, cares for her younger sister and brother by herself.


Hunger and Malnutrition
St. Martha is difficult to reach and is far from former homes, communities and livelihoods. Jobs are scarce and no effort has been made by government agencies to create new employment opportunities. As a result, most families are worse off financially than before; poverty is rampant. Children, and there are thousands, often go hungry—over one-half are stunted or underweight.


Over one-half of the children in St. Martha are malnourished or stunted.


Asset Based Development
In keeping with Kamal Freda’s focus on a community’s strengths and assets—not its ‘needs’—Kamal Freda began a backyard gardening program three years ago that has helped 400 families establish small vegetable gardens in small open spaces around their row-house units. The gardeners report their children eat more vegetables are healthier and do better in school.


Some of the St. Martha gardeners have no open space, so we showed them how to grow vegetables in containers like pet bottles.


At the edge of the community, some gardeners have abundant gardens.


Kamal Freda conducts garden training programs and provides gardeners with seedlings and fertilizer from our demonstration garden behind the new elementary school.


The Temporary Shared-Use Kitchen

In February, we established a temporary shared-use healthy-snack kitchen in a housing unit loaned to us by the government for one year. This small kitchen is operated by a cooperative of mothers who work together to create and share healthy recipes from their garden harvest and to produce and market low-cost, delicious and healthy-snacks. The snacks are an alternative to the junk food and candies now available.  Income from sales provides a little extra income to the mothers. 


The temporary kitchen is in use almost daily


However, we can use it only until December 2017. Then we’ll have to move out.


A Permanent Kitchen

Kamal Freda has purchased a lot on which to build a permanent kitchen. The building is being designed by University of Tokyo architect students under the guidance of famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma in collaboration with Philippine architect Jorge Yulo and the internationally distinguished architect Sergio Palleroni of Portland State University in the U.S. Architect students from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila are also lending a hand.


These St. Martha kids are standing on the lot where we’ll build a permanent kitchen.


Dozens of St. Martha residents viewed models of potential permanent kitchens as part of the planning process.


Before finalizing the design, the architect students from Santo Tomas and the University of Tokyo interviewed potential users.


Kids got involved too.  They helped us understand the need to include spaces for community gatherings and for children to read books and study while their mothers prepared the snacks.


 Proposed kitchen interior. The layout will allow several teams of mothers to share the kitchen.




Your support for this project will enable us to build a permanent kitchen and return the temporary one to the local government to house a homeless family.  The cost of construction is US $27,000 or 3 million yen.  



The mothers prepare delicious and healthy squash macaroons!


Junk food (above) now sold at the elementary school will be replaced with healthy snacks (below)



Planned Construction Schedule

  • Sept – Nov 2017: Construction of the foundation · framework
  • Nov 2017: Construction of the roof
  • December 2017-January 2018: Interior finish work
  • February 2018: Move equipment from temporary kitchen to new kitchen

Construction Budget (Estimate)

  • Reinforced concrete framework construction: 1,125,000 yen 
  • Roof construction:  225,000 yen
  • Second floor kitchen wall and interior:  450,000 yen
  • First floor wall and interior: 350,000yen
  • Electricity and plumbing: 550,000 yen 
  • Service charge to Readyfor: 300,000 yen
    Total: 3.0 million yen ($27,000)

Thank you gift


We’ll give all donors a regular update on our progress and activities. 

In addition, donors will receive combinations of “thank you gift” listed below based on amount of donated money. 

  • Nameplate of donors installed on the wall of permanent kitchen (For donation over 10,000 yen, Size of the nameplate varies based on amount of donated money)
  • Project booklet vol.1: Activity Records (For donation over 10,000 yen)
  • Project booklet vol.2: Photo Album (For donation over 30,000 yen)
  • Project booklet vol.3: Healthy Snack Recipe (For donation over 100,000 yen)
  • Invitation to the opening ceremony of the permanent kitchen (For donation over 500,000 yen) 

    Note: Donors have to travel to Manila with their own expense. After meeting at the airport, Kamal Freda will take the donors to special tour including the opening ceremony, cover all the expense for lodging, transportation, and meals during the tour, and take the donors back to the airport. The ceremony is currently planned in late February 2018.
  • Naming rights of the permanent kitchen (For donation over 1,000,000 yen)


Together we will combat poverty and malnutrition in one of the Philippines most vulnerable communities.   


Thanks for your support