How 100 Baby Chicks Help 30 Families
In November, 2016 we met with a group of women in Tanzania from the Ntemba Village Women’s Chicken Cooperative with an interpreter. Our intention was to find out their needs and challenges they face. We were seeking to help empower these women who have very difficult lives. Women there are responsible for taking care of the children and in their culture they have anywhere from 8-10 children, household chores, gathering the water daily which is frequently a long walk to the water source, gathering firewood, cooking etc. They told us they would like to start a business raising chickens eggs and for sending to market.
The monks were very supportive of this because they are trying to assist the women with empowering their roles in the family and community. One of the Brothers at the Mvimwa Abbey, Brother Max is in charge of the farm at the the Abbey, where they raise animals and huge vegetable gardens and fruit tree groves helped us with getting this project going. The monks had a brick building that needed some repairs but was ideal for a chicken house that they gave to the women. Brother Max gave us an estimate of the cost to fix the building and make it ready for raising the chickens. They would start out with purchasing 100 baby chicks.
There are 30 women in this cooperative and while we were there we came up with a business plan which was discussed with the women and Brother Max. We talked to them about assisting them and what the expectations would be and taught some simple business management skills. All this was done with interpretation by Brother Max and one of the women Diana.
While we were there all 3 of us, Rebecca, Dr. Gerlach and I left them some of our personal funds which we donated so they could start a business bank account. When we got back from word of mouth telling our story and reaching out to friends, family, co workers and church members we were able to get donations to send the funds for the repairs to finish the chicken house. Now we have raised additional donations to wire transfer money over for the purchase of the baby chicks and feed. Each baby chick is only 2 dollars in USD or about 5000 Tanzanian Schillings. The chicken house is almost completed