the poultry project

Praise the bridge that carried you over…

September 7th, 2008

We want to extend a sincere thank you to our friends and family members who have given us support and love during our stay here in Uganda.
The donations raised this year were more than we ever anticipated.
With the donations we received, we were able to purchase goats, chickens, ox plows, add five new beneficiaries, fix leaky roofs, construct structures for livestock and continue the Poultry Project.
Above all, we were able to shine a light on the lives of many children who often go unnoticed. By sharing their stories, we have given them a voice.
But, we are mere messengers and you are the people who acted. It is because of your benevolence and generosity that anything has happened here.
Thank you,
Jerry Raffa
Stelio and Katie Flamos
Susie and Dave Pavlick
Ron Marshall
Susie & Dan Lee
Belterra Casino
North End Yoga
Alicia Orr
Allessandra Miele
Loretta Bowlby
Mary Jo Barr
Sheila Bray
Emil Alecusan
Carly Pavlick
Katie Pavlick
Mary Grace and Bill Pavlick
Andy Johnson
Sarah Wineland
Lauren Alviti
We will be forever changed by this experience and ceaselessly grateful to our friends and family for being such good people.
august 27, 2008 021.jpg

FacebookTwitterGoogle GmailPrintFriendlyShare

September 7th, 2008

September 2nd
Tuesday
Today we met with TASO’s Senior Management team at the Ugandan Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe.
During the meeting we discussed our work with the Poultry Project and the possibility of expanding the program to the other branches.
The meeting went very well. The board was so impressed by the growth and progress made and the many successes shared by the beneficiaries. They also expressed their deep appreciation and admiration of Kelly Flamos and Julian Harris for taking the initiative to implement such a program that has changed the lives of so many vulnerable children.
Lastly, they were equally grateful for the many caring friends and family members we have back in the states and thank you for your compassion and continued support.
board pic.jpg
Joe, Emily, Tina Achila (Dir. of Psycho-Social Programs), Juliet Tembe (Chairperson Board of Trustees), Harriet Wanyoto Mabonga (Dir. of Advocacy), and Rober Ochai (Executive Director TASO)
3 Aug 2008 048.jpg
Mufasa.

FacebookTwitterGoogle GmailPrintFriendlyShare

Fixing a hole where the rain gets in

September 7th, 2008

August 31st
Sunday
Today was our last day in Mbale and we had one last stop to make.
We went to Hanania’s house to check on the new roof.
When we walked around the bend of the dirt path, standing out behind the thick green bushes, was a shiny tin roof glistening in the sun.
The family greeted us and proudly showed us their new roof.
Their happiness is attributed to our friends and family who have generously reached out their hands to help the greater good. Thank you all for you donations, you have helped this family, given them shelter, and renewed their hope in a better day.
hanania's fmaily.jpg
The new roof is responsible for their smiles – and the glare in the picture.
hanania's roof.jpg
The new roof.
As we drove away from the late Hanania’s home, we all felt at ease. It was a great way to leave Mbale and begin our next journey. We are in Kampala and staying at a magnificent hotel – it will be nice to relax after three weeks of hard work.
sleeping baby.jpg
On our way to Kampala the driver stopped to buy goat meat kabobs. This billboard towered over the streetside food market.
nm stadium.jpg
We also got to see the Nelson Mandela Stadium, home to the national football team.
weight signs.jpg
And we saw advertisements that would get very few responses if posted in an American city.

FacebookTwitterGoogle GmailPrintFriendlyShare

Workshoppin’

September 7th, 2008

August 30th
Saturday
The Workshop was today!! Every single participant showed up, some came with their aunts or uncles, some came with their siblings and few came alone. They all received a Poultry Project T shirt and they wore them proudly.
We introduced the new participants and the new organization model. There are now a total of 28 participants and they will be separated into divisions of 5-7, based upon where they live. The divisions are Bukedea/Kumi, Mbale 1, Mbale 2, Sironko 1, and Sironko 2. Each division will be lead by a chairperson who was chosen for their outstanding work throughout the first two years of the Project.
The divisional system is important for two major reasons. First, the beneficiaries are required to attend monthly divisional meetings, led by the chairperson. There, they will have the opportunity to discuss challenges and draw upon the experiences of their colleagues. Second, each beneficiary will be required to make periodic savings deposits to a divisional bank account managed by the chairperson and Peter (General Manager). Once a beneficiary has saved a certain amount, the Poultry Project will match his or her savings. Also, a higher bench mark will be used for a second savings match and once it is met, the participant will graduate from the Project. This sets up a savings culture among the participants and enforces the idea of taking ownership of their work and small-holder farming business. It also allows us to add new participants when the current group graduates.
We are very excited about the potential of the new organizational structure and hope it will increase independence and empower the children.
30 Aug 2008 137.jpg
The Poultry Project
30 Aug 2008 152.jpg
Kedi Ben, Jude and Charles: Three incredible boys who give strength to their families and carry on the memory of their parents.
After the workshop Jude, Christy, and Kedi Ben joined us for a traditional Ugandan dinner at the Mbale Resort.
Simple things like enjoying food and hanging out with your friends are luxuries we often take for granted. Watching the kids relax and not have to worry about their problems, even if for only a night, was truly rewarding. Seeing the boys act like children, being carefree and laughing, is a memory I will always keep close to my heart.
christy.jpg
Christy shoots pool for the first time, he was a natural.

FacebookTwitterGoogle GmailPrintFriendlyShare

September 7th, 2008

August 29th
Friday
Today we made our way to Ikokole Esther’s home, a potential beneficiary. She was working in the field when we arrived, so we sat and waited under the shade of a large citrus tree.
Linda, a counselor who is notorious for stealing oranges during home visits, made use of her free time and large bamboo pole she found on the ground.
Linda had found the perfect apparatus for extracting the tiny green fruits (yes, the oranges here are green).
29 Aug 2008 005.jpg
Linda at work.
After feasting on the stolen oranges, Esther and her family finally arrived. We carried out the typical assessment, viewed the home and talked about the many challenges the family faces.
We learned that Esther (15 yrs) lives with her five siblings and an aunt who is HIV+.
The aunt’s health is deteriorating, and as she grows weaker, Esther is beginning to take on more responsibilities. She is currently in S1 and excels in History, French and fine arts, but paying for school fees is becoming increasingly difficult.
When we asked her if she had any plans, should her aunt pass away, she looked away and began to cry.
This may seem like a harsh subject matter to bring up, but it is essential to survival that they prepare. The children will have to bear the burdens of caring for the land, paying school fees, managing their health and food — all while providing each other with love and support.
It’s overwhelming, but this is the stark reality faced by many children here in Uganda.
So many children are living alone…
So many children are suffering…
The only thing we can do is to tackle the problem one child at a time.
Esther has been added to the Poultry Project and her 5 chickens, a bicycle and a chicken coop will be delivered to home within the next week. It’s a small offering of support, but the gesture seemed to brighten her spirits. Esther seemed genuinely happy and flashed us all a great big smile.
ester.jpg
Esther
We then made our way over to Michael Wanabwe’s home to deliver the bulk food purchase we made at the local market. We bought Michael and his grandma 10 lbs beans, 10 lbs rice, 9 lbs posho flour, 1 lb sugar and a gallon of oil.
The food was purchased because earlier in our trip we learned that he had fallen ill due to malnutrition. He is HIV+ and on antriretroviral treatment, but the treatment is useless without food.
In the past, the family of two was receiving WFP food stipends, but with rising food prices and food shortages, the organization has withdrawn from the region and is giving support to internally displaced people in northern Uganda. Without that crucial dietary supplement, their current diet teeters between one bowl of porridge and going hungry.
When we arrived at their home, we were greeted by an overjoyed little boy who kept rubbing his teary-eyes, almost in disbelief that his friends had returned.
He was so grateful that we were there and for the food we brought that would enable him to have his first meal of the day (it was 7pm).
I tried to contain myself and not be overwhelmed. He was so thin, though. And as I stood there, looking at his little, bony arms and his stunted stature due to years of too little food, I no longer felt the weight of the bags I carried. Rather, I felt the weight of their destitute situation; the insurmountable poverty wreaking havoc on their lives.
Regardless, any pain they were experiencing was hidden behind smiles and to us they revealed only gratitude.
Right now, I hope that Michael and his grandmother are enjoying a big bowl of beans and rice, sprinkled with love.
michael.jpg
Michael

FacebookTwitterGoogle GmailPrintFriendlyShare

A beautiful mind

September 7th, 2008

August 28th
Thursday
Today we met Nekesa Florence (12), who lives with her HIV+ mother in a one-room, rented home. Her father died of AIDS and she has four siblings, but neither she nor her mother knows where any of them are.
Florence is in P4 and is ranked seventh in her class. We asked how they are able to afford school fees and learned they are often waived because the faculty sees what a promising young student she is. Given her life at home, it is quite remarkable she is able to do so well.
We want Florence to continue to follow her dreams and aim high, because a great mind is a terrible thing to waste.
With the support of our friends and family, Florence will join the Poultry Project and will receive five hens, a bicycle, and a chicken coop. You have all given Florence a chance to shine. Thank you!!!
28 Aug 2008 012.jpg
Florence

FacebookTwitterGoogle GmailPrintFriendlyShare

act now