Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Funding This School Kitchen

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have helped build a new primary school kitchen and disaster relief center in the first major project of their new charity. Archewell Foundation has funded the new state of the art kitchen at Soufriere Primary School, in Dominica.

The new facility will feed children at the school but also help train local chefs and provide food for the vulnerable in the event of a natural disaster, like Hurricane Maria, which devastated the Carribean island in 2017.

The project was a partnership between Archewell and World Central Kitchen, run by celebrity chef Jose Andres.

A partnership between the two organizations to build a series of community relief centers was announced at the end of last year but these are the first concrete details about a specific new center.

In December, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry said in a joint statement: "The health of our communities depends on our ability to connect with our shared humanity.

"When we think about Chef Andres and his incredible team at World Central Kitchen, we're reminded that even during a year of unimaginable hardship, there are so many amazing people willing and working tirelessly to support each other."

Quoted by the Dominica Government Information Service, Denise Charles, representative for the Soufriere Constituency, said: "We decided we didn't just want to provide a kitchen for the school. We wanted an opportunity to provide training for single parents or anybody in the constituency who wanted to enhance their cooking skills.

"I am really excited to see the quality of the equipment. I know that the people who will receive training there will receive the best training and we are hoping that we can continue this partnership with World Central Kitchen so we can have a certified training program, and we also intend to work with the Ministry of Education."

The first kitchen from @WCKitchen’s partnership with Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s Archewell foundation has been revealed. The facility at Soufriere Primary School in Dominica will be used for the school’s feeding program and serve as a community training/skill centre 🇩🇲 pic.twitter.com/5bgaNxnCPu

— Omid Scobie (@scobie) February 10, 2021

A December anouncement revealed that the first center would be built in Dominica and the second in Puerto Rico, though the latest announcement by the Dominican Government Information Service gives the first concrete details.

Simon Walsh, project manager of Resilient Dominica Project (REZDM), said: "The World Central Kitchen looks at this as also a kitchen that is here in the event of another major disaster. This kitchen is going to be very well set up to cook in the event of an emergency, they will be able to feed many people very, very quickly, and that's a serious aspect."

Archewell is providing the financial commitment for four relief centers in total which will become service kitchens in the event of a crisis, it was anounced in December.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry in Belfast
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs on March 23, 2018 in Belfast, Nothern Ireland. Niall Carson - Pool/Getty