USAID has granted me $5,000 to fund the construction of an income generating chicken coop at the health center in my village. A group of 26 mothers will own and manage the coop. All of the mothers are HIV positive with HIV positive children. Over half of these women are single mothers who are raising their children on their own. One hundred percent of these women are subsistence farmers and are ready to take on the challenge of starting their own business with this income generating chicken coop. I have been meeting with these women for the past two months now and they are so excited about this project and the opportunity it will give them to provide a better future for their children.
At full capacity of 260 chickens, the coop will raise on average RWF 350,000 per month ($530) from selling eggs. The women will use this money to pay for general upkeep of the coop, veterinarian costs, and chicken feed. After these expenses, all of the profits will go directly into the pockets of these 26 women… averaging around $15 dollars a person per month. It might not seem like a lot, but an extra $15 dollars a month will go a long way in Rwanda. Additionally, these women have developed a savings plan that, after 10 months of saving, they will be able to purchase a cow and begin to sell milk as well.
The last component of the project is that the children who are HIV positive will receive an egg a day in order to improve their nutrition.
The $5,000 from USAID will pay for the construction and startup costs. However, I feel strongly that to ensure the sustainability of the project I need an additional $1,500 to train the mothers. All of these mothers will attend a series of classes covering topics such as: the importance of good nutrition, managing a small business, and how to save money for the future. With your help, an extra $1,500 dollars will ensure the success and sustainability of the coop for many years to come. Any amount that you can give is appreciated!
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