This grant update is from one of Spirit in Action’s newest partners, Visionary Women’s Centre in Turbo, Kenya. They were awarded a SIA Community Grant for the expansion of their poultry program, which helps rural farm women. The report is written by the founder, Lizette Gilday.
Women from the Mother’s Support Programme receiving their chickens! The women in the program are typical Kenyan small plot landowners who farm just enough maize and vegetables to feed their families for the year.
For our One Chicken Giveaway project, we gave each member one hen and instructed to use it as a starting point to produce as many chickens as possible. One year later, we gathered and went around the circle as each woman shared her story.
Some of the women had a 100% survival rate of the eggs their hen laid. One member with 100% survival had taken the chicks away from the mother hen and kept them in a box all cozy and warm. She had fed them traditional herbs, as well as given vaccinations.
Others were not so successful. One chick got run over on the road, another was eaten by a hawk, while others died of disease. Never the less, from the nine hens that were given out there are now fifty chickens all told!
One clever way of keeping chicks dry and healthy in damp months. We saw this in Kenya, near Eldoret, at the site of one SIA Small Business Fund home.
Expanding the Poultry Project
As a follow up to our One Chicken Give Away project, Spirit in Action agreed to fund a larger Poultry Project. We are well into the implementation process!
We have completed our five half-day training program for our twenty-eight members, with information about shed construction, animal care, and disease control and vaccination. Many women raise local breed chickens and let them run free. These higher quality chicken breeds, kept safe, dry, and healthy in a well-constructed shed, will be able to protect more chicks and produce higher quality meat.
Gladys, chairwoman of one of the two support groups, mother of 12, grandmother of 4 orphans, wins the prize for completing the ‘’mudding’’ of her chicken house first!
Sharing the Gift
The chicken houses are being built now, and when they are complete, we will provide each member with five mature hens each. Our trainer, Elizabeth, will monitor the progress on a regular basis until December. In December, the women will each give backthe five original hens, as well as two hens to give away to needy members in the community. This is called PAY BACK/PAY FORWARD and is a policy of Spirit in Action that we willingly embrace.
We thank Spirit in Action for this splendid opportunity!