Our next send a chicken program is focused on the village of Rwentojo in Itojo sub-county. The participants are mostly widows or single women with children. As well as providing hands on training on farm management we have provided the basics for coop construction
These photos are from our materials distribution session. Each woman received 5 iron sheets, 2 and 1/2 kg of nails, 11 metres of wire mesh and 50,000 UGX (£11.81) to contribute towards the cost of labour.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
It has not been easy getting here. Our Program Managers will share lessons learned in due course but one of the challenges we encountered was the fact that, some of the chicks turned out to be cocks. This reduced the number of eggs the women can expect.
Betice is the lady with most eggs so far, 75! She still has one cock with the hens but it seems he’s encouraging the ladies to lay consistently. She and her family are extremely excited.
Jane’s hens have just completed their first tray (30 eggs). Jane is one of the 9 ladies who still have 10 hens and she’s foreseeing a brighter future now that they’re all laying
Caroline is the only group member who opted for a free range system once the feed LTHT provided finished. She has 9 hens and so far they have laid 20 eggs.
Sylvia has 7 hens (2 cocks and 1 died). She’s got so far 18 eggs – in the picture only 13 – but the next day she got 5 eggs so she’s really happy that her hens even they are few they’re consistently laying.
I hope you can agree with me when I say that our Program Managers have done a fantastic job, in mobilising the women, training and getting them to this position.
The women have an opportunity to generate income from the sell of eggs and hopefully save enough money to restart the program without further intervention form LTHT
In our next intervention, we revisited an issue we had been working on since 2014- Menstrual Hygiene Management. Our objective under this program is to ensure that girls and women manage their periods in a hygienic way. This involves ensuring that girls and women have access to information about menstruation as well as access to clean and safe menstrual absorbents.
This program also provides employment for three local young women. It is our ambition to ensure that this program is accessible to girls and women across the district of Ntungamo
Widows and the goat loan project
Under this project we are working in collaboration with the NGO Joy Goat Development, to introduce a new breed of dairy goats into Ruhanga parish. The main beneficiaries of this program are widows, who will receive a 50% cross breed female dairy goat as a loan. They will be responsible to care for the goat until it produces the first kid.
Once the first births are weaned, the off springs will be returned to LTHT and the women at that point will be given sole ownership over the initial goat. This goat will then become an asset that the woman can use to generate income, support herself and her family through;
continuous sale of the goat’s offspring,
sale of goat’s milk
or improve the nutritional intake of their family if they opt for personal consumption.
Once the kids have been returned to LTHT, the female goats will be given to the next widow, while the male goats will be sold, using the profits to purchase more female goats so the cycle continues even if on-going sponsorship is unavailable.
On top of that, the whole community will also benefit from this program via a cross breeding program. .
Local female goats will mate with pure male dairy goats with a view to creating off-springs that can produce a meaningful amount of milk. This will improve the community’s nutritional intake radically.
We will spend the next few weeks getting the community ready for this program before the goats arrive, Keep an eye on this space for updates.
Back in August 2015 we started on a journey to work with the women in Ruhanga SW Uganda on initiatives that would improve their incomes. By November we had settled on the idea of micro poultry farms for 29 women.
It has been an interesting journey so far that has seen women trained up in chicken feeding, coop building before being handed the chicks to look after on International Women’s Day
This is a typical chicken coop built from local materials. We provided wire mesh, nails doors and iron sheets and the women did the rest.
Each woman was given 70kg of quality feed for their chickens. This feed will cover the first three months. It is anticipated that the chicks will be let out for a couple of hours a day to supplement their diet with greens and insects. By the end of the three months the chickens should have started laying. The women will be able to afford the chicken feed themselves from the se hopefu
The chicks were very tired when they arrived from the breeder on International Women’s Day celebrations and needed vitamins. This is Maria distributing chicken Vitamins to the women.
Having worked on this from a distance, it was an absolute pleasure to be present at the launch by handing out chicks to women. I must say I was overwhelmed by the energy and atmosphere of the day.
Night Barayemura is one of the beneficiaries of this initiative. She’s 40 years old and has 7 beautiful children. As many others in the community, she’s a subsistence farmer and currently earns an average of £4 a month by selling some of her green bananas (matooke), beans and ground nuts (peanuts) around the village. Through this project, she’s hoping to provide a better diet for her family as they currently consume green vegetables twice a week and meat only on Christmas Day.
Following the distribution of the boxes, the carpenter was once again very busy making up 29 laying boxes. The boxes are very heavy and it was good see that men recognised this and stepped in to help their wives take the boxes home.
This program has benefited suppliers of services too
Denis (one in stripped polo shirt) is 32 years old and is married with three children. Currently, he has a team of 7 carpenters and apprentices who help him with different orders. They mostly build doors and seats. For the ‘Send a chicken to an African woman’ project, he built 15 feeders and 27 nest boxes. He reckons his profits were about 240,000 UGX, (£51.62) which he reinvested in materials for his workshop.
Ronald is 32 years old and is married with 3 children. He has benefited twice fold from the ‘Send a chicken to an African woman’ project. Some of the women asked him for help to build their chicken coops and LTHT contracted him to build 27 doors and 14 feeders. He hired two additional people to complete the job, at a rate of 10,000 UGX (£2.15) per day. He told us his net profit from the LTHT contract was 500,000 UGX (107.53), which he used to buy new materials for his business.
Ruth is 33 years old and has one daughter. Ruth is poultry and farmer and supplied 330 chicks to the project which meant increased income and a profit of UGX 1.3 (279.56). Ruth says that, the project has given her an opportunity to help her other women through sharing with them the knowledge about poultry keeping. This had always been her long time desire as she wants to see women work there way out of the poverty. In addition, the project has created awareness about her business thus expanding her clientele base.
In the next steps the women will learn about routes to market, book keeping and savings. If you would like to be updated as to the women’s progress sign up to our Newsletter or like our Facebook Page
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.
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
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
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.)
This initiative will enable women to acquire a new skill.
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
Better skilled African women in rural areas have a chance of generating income to benefit the community as a whole
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