Send a chicken 2- We have eggs

If you are a regular here, you will recall that following the success of the first micro poultry program called Send a Chicken to African woman we launched a second program in December of last year. 

Send a chicken
Syliva Nahurira

This second program has been a challenge in ways that we never expected. The first challenge was to do with very heavy rain that meant that the women found it hard to keep the chicks warm. The second challenge was avian flu.

As a result of these challenges, some of the chicks  died leaving the women with roughly 8 chicks out of 15 and the price of eggs fell as nearby countries  stopped buying eggs from Uganda. 
send a chicken

Notwithstanding those challenges, the women have now started selling the eggs from the project and on average they are earning £1.66 per tray. In Uganda a tray of eggs is  made up of 30 eggs and the women are collecting unto 8 eggs a day.  We would ordinarily expect a tray of eggs to sell at £2.60 but for the problems mentioned above. 

But we still have some good news.

send a chicken

For instance Dezranta Nyakato, a 59 year old woman is currently earning  £3.32 a week from selling eggs. She used to earn 51p a week prior to joining this initiative.

Our initial aim for her, was to increase her income to £1.75 a week as it is the income a woman in her village needs to send three kids to school per  term and feed her family. This has exceeded our expectations and for that we are truly grateful for your support.

I caught up withe women at the end of May and most reported that they were very happy to have eggs to sell as they had no income prior to taking part in this program and also  as part of their diet. Whilst here in the West we are discouraged from eating too many eggs, in villages such as Rwentojo, an egg as part of one’s diet is a real luxury.

The next steps are an experiment to see if the women can hatch chicks from this breed of chickens. This is because this is not ordinarily possible without an incubator but it is apparently  achievable if the hens go from a semi intensive program to a full free range feeding program.  Some amongst the women already have their hens on a full free range program whilst some don’t. 

 

Keep an eye on this space for updates. 

Our first baby goats

On 21 August 2016 we took delivery of 18 dairy goats for our Widows loan goat and crossbreeding programs. What we didn’t know at the time, was that some amongst the goats were pregnant and we now have our first baby goats 

This is the female baby goat and her mother

 

This is the Male baby goat

Oe of the aims of dairy goats program was to enable women to access milk as part of their diet and the  good news is that the widows whose goats have kids are getting 1 to 2 cups of milk per day for their own consumption.

baby goats

We have had some bad  news too.  One of  the 50% male goats we bought for the cross breeding program died.  He was housed with one of the female goats who was already pregnant. We suspect that he tried to mate with her and because she was not on heat (due being pregnant already) she fought him and injured him with her horns.  This resulted in an eye infection that spread to both eyes and unfortunately, after treating him with antibiotics, he didn’t respond well and died.

baby goat

The program is now under way and we are expecting 3 more baby goats next month so keep an eye on this space for updates.

baby goat

I caught up with some of the women that are part of the program last month. It was interesting to hear about their experiences of caring for the goats and how excited they are the prospect of having access to goat milk. 

Send a chicken Phase 2 gets under way

Following the success of  the first round SEND A CHICKEN TO AN AFRICAN WOMAN we have  launched phase 2.

One of the lessons from phase 1 was that covering more than one village cell at a time was a strain on resources. For this reason, we are focusing on the village of Rwentojo. We will also have fewer participants and more chickens.

Selecting participants

Our Project Managers worked with the village Chairman on identifying and interviewing. His preselected group included women who are head of households in his village such as widows  as well as those who apparently cannot rely on their husbands either because they’re never around or are  alcoholics.

It was interesting to note that some women excluded themselves from the project because they felt they could not give it their full commitment, whilst some worried about being able to provide materials for constructing chicken coops.

Our Project Managers were surprised by some of the women’s reactions and had this to say,

For once, it was so refreshing in a way to realise that people are not just willing to take things for free just cause someone is offering them but instead they are already thinking of the challenges they may face. This shows: a higher level of commitment and willingness only to join if they believe they are capable of committing to the project and in this case taking good care of the chickens; that they’re not used to getting things for free; and that they do really need the help we will be providing them. 

In fact, one of them has told us we should leave her out as she spends most of her time digging (for others) and collecting fibres and grasses to weave baskets… We tried to convince her but she told us she would not forgive herself if any of her chickens died…It is a real shame as she could really use the help!

About some of the interviewees

Send A chicken

Jovlet, she’s a 46 year-old widow who works other people’s land to get an income. She has 6 children but 4 of them already dropped out of school as she could not afford to continue paying school fees for them.

Send a chicken 

Anna, she’s a 40 year old widow who has 3 children and makes her monthly income selling sugar canes in a small trading centre

send a chicken

Sylvia, a mother of 5 and one more on the way. She’s married but her husband spends most of the money he makes burning charcoal on alcohol especially a local gin called Waragi 

Send a chicken

Topista, a 50 year-old widow who lives with two of her grandchildren. She spends her days digging and collecting fibres and grass to weave baskets. She doesn’t think she will be able to join the project as she will not have enough time to take care of the chickens. 

send a chicken

Mariserina, a 40 year-old widow, who has 3 children one of whom is disabled. She is a coffee farmer and uses the income to pay her children’s fees. She is also a casual labourer on other people’s farms. 

Os, Annet and Chairman
Os (Program Manager)  Annett and Chairman David

Annett  is a 43 year old widow and mother of 4. She is a labourer and sues that income to pay her her children’s fees. She’s very proud that at least one of them has completed P7. Unfortunately, she cannot afford to send her child to a secondary school so she will be starting to work as a labourer like her in order to support the family. 

Rwentojo

The first training session on Poultry Farm Management and Housing took place on Monday.  some amongst the group were in for a shock. They arrived late for the meeting and fellow participants required them to pay a fine. The group has also decided to form a management committee that will coordinate their affairs. 

Phase 2 is now well and truly underway. Keep an eye on this space for updates

Who are the Ultra Poor?

The Ultra Poor are defined as those people who live on less than 50 cents a day.

On 9 December 2015, the media here in the United Kingdom was preoccupied by the Ultra Poor. This is because of a report launched that day by the charity BRAC   at a lecture hosted London School of Economics (LSE) . The lecture discussed BRAC’s approaches to tackling extreme poverty through programmes that target the Ultra Poor.

At the time of this lecture,  we had just completed a home assessment exercise in Ruhanga. This involved  visiting twenty nine households in the community. Amongst our findings, that some of those households earn as little as seven pence (7p) a day.

As I followed discussions about the Ultra Poor in the media, my thoughts turned to those households in Ruhanga.  I wondered how they fitted into the narrative about ultra poverty.  I asked whether labels such as “Ultra poor” are useful in helping us understand the causes and solutions to poverty?

I will probably never know the answers to these questions, but I agree with some of the findings;

  1. the Ultra poor have no assets to generate their own income
  2. tend to be women
  3. engage in casual labour
  4. and are poorly paid.

What are we doing about the Ultra Poor in Ruhanga?

Ruhanga is a rural community in SW Uganda. The incidence of poverty is high yet most lack assets and or the skills to increase their income. The question that faces us, is what sort of interventions are appropriate in addressing such poverty.

In order to address this question, we have teamed up with a local women’s group to with a view to addressing those challenges.

We have undertaken to work with the women to increase their income by £1.75 a week.  We will achieve this by enabling participants to set up a poultry rearing business as well as acquire skills in Semi Intensive poultry rearing.

send a chicken- ultra poor
Gertrude Tumusiime- Chairperson KAMINYA TUKORE women’s group

We have called this initiative SEND  A CHICKEN TO AN AFRICAN WOMAN and work got under way after christmas with the women signing up to the terms of the project.

Ultra poor
Members of the KAMINYA TUKORE women’s group at the Send a Chicken inaugural meeting

A visit to Ruth’s farm

A key aspect of this initiative is, the women being accountable to each other through their leadership committee. Our role is to facilitate that process.

Shortly after members signed up to the project conditions, the committee visited Ruth to sign a supply agreement.

Ultra poverty
KAMINYA TUKORE committee signing supply contract with Ruth

 

send a chicken- ultra poor
KAMINYA TUKORE committee visit a chicken breeder’s farm

Ruth breeds chicks and sells them on.  On this visit, the women placed their order and learned about what poultry rearing.

Our in country team have their work cut out  but they are as excited as the women are.

Keep an eye on these pages for monthly updates.

If you would like to support our efforts please consider making a donation of £2.50 to our SEND A CHICKEN CAMPAIGN

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/sendachicken

End of year Report from LTHT

Christmas is a few weeks away and we thought this would be a good time to not only wish you a Merry Xmas but also share with you some of our achievements  in Ruhanga -Uganda in 2015

Our focus in 2015 has been the individual through our Skills Development Initiative (SDI)

As part of SDI, girls in Ruhanga learned how to make sanitary towels that were then distributed to 37 teenage girls in the village
http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.org/index.php/skills-development-initiative-tailoring/

In August, we met with some of the girls who benefited from the program and their mothers. Here is how we got on
http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.org/index.php/menstrual-hygiene-in-rural-uganda/

Women in the village: Following the August review of the first phase of SDI, it became apparent that women had been largely excluded from previous interventions and that we  didn’t know enough about their needs.

We sought to change this in Phase 2 through a series of meetings with the women facilitated by Maria and Alex.

There is now, a new and more inclusive women’s group and agreement amongst the group on initiatives that  will enable them to increase their income and acquire new skills.

Alex explains http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.org/index.php/2015/10/

One of those initiatives is the poultry initiative and 30 women  have signed up already. Through this initiative, women will  acquire skills in semi intensive poultry keeping and increase their income from 40p to roughly £1.76 a week

Alex has carried out home assessments of all the women who have agreed to be part of this initiative.  From the information gathered, we have gained an insight into the level of financial and practical support participants  will need to succeed.

We also have an understanding of what it will cost us to set up.

We need to raise a further £1500 to get the initiative off the ground. We are therefore running a campaign called SEND A CHICKEN TO AN AFRICAN WOMAN. A donation of £2.50 can make a huge difference.

To support this initiative please visit our campaign pages at

http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.org/index.php/send-a-chicken/

or

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/sendachicken

We also set up a bursary for women in Ruhanga to learn how to use a sewing machine. We currently have four women enrolled on this programme.

We will provide feedback on their progress in the new year.

London Marathon: Our application for a space at next year’s London Marathon was successful. We have a space and  our runner is Jenn Dutton  and this is her fundraising page http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JenniferDutton1 .

Please show her some love by sharing her page

 

For regular updates about our work in Ruhanga, please visit our Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/LetThemHelpthemselves/

 

Thank you for being part of our journey in 2015. We wish you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

Alex, Freda, Julie, Maria, Sadia and Ida

Send a Chicken

We need your assistance to help women in rural Uganda increase their income from 40p to £1.75 a week. That’s just 25 p a day and half the price of a daily newspaper here in the UK but £1.75 is the amount of money a woman in Uganda needs to send three children to a government school, fight malnutrition and ensure that her family can access basic health care. It’s a life changing amount. It’s a difference you can choose to make.

LTHT believes in a “hand up” rather than a “hand out” approach and you can help make that difference by donating £2.50 to our “Send a Chicken” initiative. “Send a Chicken” to an African woman is a direct way of aiding women in rural Africa to become economically independent.

Your donation of £2.50 will buy a two-month old chick for an African woman and create a life changing experience for the recipient and her family.

If you can dig deeper, for £10 we can deliver two two-month-old chicks to a village woman, help them set up a pen for the chicks, provide chicken feed for three months as well as vaccines. After that your gift will be self sustaining generating much needed income for years to come and will help build a better nourished next generation of children.

Within two months the hens will start laying eggs and we will help the women find a route to market for the surplus eggs after her family’s nutritional needs have been met.

We ask you to support this initiative because

  1. Women in rural Uganda still do all the hard work for only 40p a week and simply can’t afford this type of investment. (For most women in rural Uganda £2.50 is over an entire month’s earnings.)
  2. This initiative will enable women to acquire a new skill.
  3. By closing skills gaps amongst rural women who have no assets to generate their own income we enable them to improve their income and livelihood
  4. Better skilled African women in rural areas have a chance of generating income to benefit the community as a whole
  5. 2.3 million Ugandan children are chronically malnourished, the eggs laid will provide essential proteins for growing children

Every Little helps –Make a difference today by donating £2.50

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Please note: 100% of your donation goes directly to the recipient. There are 0% deductions

If you would prefer you can also donate through Virgin Money Giving here