Our first week in Uganda has come to an end. We are all very proud of the work we’ve accomplished in such a short period. We have selected 10 new participants, distributed bicycles to 7 children, constructed the chicken coop model that will be used as the demonstration model at building workshops and completed two trainings for new participants and chairpersons. (The chairpersons are participants who have shown they’re capable of maintaining successful, small-holder poultry businesses. They are given the additional responsibility of managing the other participants who live in their division – we have 5 divisions in Mbale.)
At the new participant workshop, each of the chairpersons spoke about their personal stories and how the poultry project has impacted their lives. It was really beautiful to hear this project is indeed making a difference. Two stories that stood out are from a single mother who raises her HIV+, 7-year old son and a 55 year old uncle who cares for 12 children of deceased siblings. Sophie, with her original 5 chickens, was able to use the eggs to provide nutrition to her son, open a savings account, purchase a cow with savings and eventually purchase land where she has started a coffee farm. Steven has grown his chicken fleet to 62 and added goats and cows. The livestock, especially the cows, are valuable assets here in Mbale. In general, subsistence farmers in Uganda lack modernized farming equipment and must use manual labor or the assistance of bulls to plow their land. Having a cow opens up many opportunities for farmers such as increasing their farm output and renting out of their plowing services. Steven’s Poultry Project earnings have enabled him to send all 12 children to school. Success!
This upcoming week we will be holding 5 on-site building workshops in Mbale. In preparation, we will purchase materials for 5 chicken coops and deliver the packages to each chairperson’s home. During the workshop we will build the chicken coop that Emily Axtman designed. The workshops should take roughly 5-6 hours.
Also on the agenda for this week is the purchasing and delivering of coop materials to the homes of our existing participants. It was originally our plan to purchase materials for all participants (including newly added participants) so they could leave the workshop and begin construction on their coop at their homes. However, we need roughly $4,000 more to purchase materials for the newly added participants in Mbale, Tororo and Soroti. So – this week the newly added participants will simply get the instructions on how to construct the coop and until we have the cash-flow to purchase the materials, they will have to wait…
Say hello to the newly added Poultry Project participants of Mbale, Uganda: