In order to help kids be kids and not worry about where their next meal comes, we must build sustainable solutions to the root causes of poverty.
We can’t simply feed children. We must teach children how to feed themselves.
To do this, caregivers must learn new skills in how to invest in their children’s future. At Feed the Children this is why our efforts to create new livelihoods in communities where we serve is so important. Sometimes this means teaching better agricultural practices. Sometimes this means offering training in an activity like sewing or bee keeping. Other times it means providing livestock to communities with education on how the products obtained can better kids lives.
Consider Loresho Primary School located in the Westlands Constituency of Nairobi, Kenya. Located in the heart of the city, this is a school that Feed the Children has a longstanding partnership with. For several years, (thanks to our government advocates and donors) we’ve provided a hot meal for each student every school day. Often times this is the only meal that these children receive all day.
But, more needed to be done. Recently we delivered 500 chicks to the school. Out of the number delivered, 100 were a contribution from parents of the school with the means to do so.
Prior to the delivery, several planning meetings were held between Feed the Children in Kenya and Loresho Primary School Management Committee (SMC) where a memorandum of understanding was signed on each party’s responsibility about the chicken project. Investment in the project was very important from teachers, parents, children, as well as Feed the Children.
Upon delivery, Feed the Children staff placed the chicks in a specially constructed poultry house that is well fitted with infrared lamps in the brooder area to provide a convenient heat source for them. The brooder area is an enclosure that will serve as the chicks’ home to provide them with a warm environment until they mature.
To ensure the success of the project for the most number of children, the school committed to breed the chicks watching their progress closely. For example, the chickens will receive clean water, proper ventilation, and regularly cleanings by the children.
Looking ahead, it is expected that the chicks will mature and start laying eggs in the next six months. Feed the Children staff will monitor and support the school until they start laying eggs. Going forward the school will accept responsibility for the the project.
Once the chicks mature and start hatching, the produce will be sold to parents of the school and surrounding community. Children in the school will also have eggs as part of their school diet. Proceeds from sales will be used to supplement the purchase of food for the school-feeding program.
This chicken project ensures that the children at Leresho Primary School both have more protein in their diet as well as income for the most nutritious of foods in the future! And other schools in the area are excited about participating!
It’s truly a big win for all the children: one chick at a time.