Mum's School Fees: Cookery N Dat

Meet my mum. Elnete Da Silva. She’s a mother of 3, sister to 12, friends to a few, dinner lady to students at Dwight London Upper School, salad prep and an excellent cook. A couple of weeks ago, she received an email from the University of West London. Despite not having the necessary qualifications. The email read,’We are pleased to be able to make you an unconditional offer of a place at Ealing commencing September 2017’.

The imaginary bottles popped. Severely.

Coming to this country almost 25years ago, with a 3yr old me and a husband, she took the initiative to pick up on her studies in Portugal and worked in a dental surgery as an assistant while completing a dental nursing course.  Sadly, in 2000, my father died. Leaving my mum with a 5yr old me and my 1yr old sister. She had to leave her studies behind, to accommodate with for my father’s missing contributions. It’s been 20 years since that happened and my mum has been thrilled by the opportunity to study again. The industry is different but the passion is the same. The passion for learning, studying and exploring an identity that transcends the trope of a black single mother, working a 9-5 to pay the bills.

Born and raised in Sao Tome eating Jackfruit for breakfast. Catching and cooking fish for dinner. Moving to Portugal, sampling a range Afro-Portuguese food. Living in England, cooking culturally English food at work. Feeding the family with a beautiful amalgamation of Afro-Portuguese-British food. Countless attempts at appropriating every recipe she can get her hands on. Later catering to her son’s vegetarian diet for the last 3-4 years. My mother’s palette is vast, rich and still, for her, not vast enough. She loves experimenting with food. Why? I am not too sure she knows her self. But her intuition has her in the kitchen doing things she’s never done and things she always does, all the time. In 2013 she survived a battle with breast cancer. Although, she took on the chin being the strong black women she is. Post her battle, she found serenity with cooking. So while some had comfort food. My mum had comfort cooking.

I can’t possibly hope to articulate my mum’s feelings as well as her smile could show you, but I hope, I have communicated that my mum, loves cooking and wants to take it further.

Now, this where she needs help.

Before she can study an undergraduate, she has to at least gain her level 2 NVQ and earlier this month I found out that my mum is not eligible for financial support from any government body to study an NVQ.  This was especially disappointing for her. However, I reassured her that the opportunity wasn’t dead in the water. So the plan is to simply crowd-fund all the necessary funds to get her NVQ.

The University:

University of West London

The course:

Professional Cookery NVQ (2017-18) (Part-Time) 2 days a week

The student:

Elnete Da Silva

The fee:


Expected cost for books and traveling:


Anything left is a cushion.

Contribute if you feel my mum deserves it. Thank you!

Donations (164)

  • Anonymous
    • £5 
    • 6 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Rui Da Silva
Elnete Da Silva

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