Monday, November 23, 2009

Kalinde's golden eggs

One of the ADRA Malawi, project activities, within the Let's Fight Aids in Malawi project, is to assist the Communities in the impact areas establish an Income Generating Activity for the entire 10 villages. The income from this business will provide the financial support for the various beneficiaries of the projects, constituted by HIV/AIDS affected households, including orphans and other vulnerable children, and chronically ill. Although different civil society community groups, like the youths, the volunteers and others have already been given the skills to care for the most vulnerable, this would be nearly impossible without the finances to meet the various needs like fees and food for the orphans and drugs for the chronically ill. ADRA supports the establishement of IGA's as a way to generate funds to carry on social work at the community level.

A Main Committee of 10 members, one from each village, was selected as was an Advisory Committee of 5 influential and respected people in the Community. These Committees were given a 5 day training in Business Management facilitated by District Social Welfare and Community Development Officers. They were then asked to choose the business that they wanted in consultation with the Community leaders and other members. The Kalinde Community chose Egg Production and after satisfying conditions like drawing a constitution and a business plan, it was decided to buy 200 day old chicks. During the enquiries, however, it was discovered that besides the traditional day old chicks, 5 week and 18 week old birds were also available. The 18 week old birds were preferred as the waiting period before laying would only be two to three weeks .

Since there was no time for a chicken house (khola) to be put up, an already standing structure was identified and rented. It was then renovated before being inspected and passed as suitable by the area’s Vet Officer. The chickens and the required items like feed and water troughs, bags of feeds, drugs and egg trays were delivered late on 28th August, to the delight of the Community. They could hardly believe that their dream had materialized so quickly. Seventeen days later, the first eggs were collected much to the delight of the Community. The ADRA Mulanje Office Staff visited the site on 18th to see for themselves and to deliver some more feeds.

As at the end of August, the Group had collected K25000 which has been banked. The Group will shortly stand on their own feet after they are supplied with the last 5 bags of feed

It is very encouraging to report that demand, which the team was worried about, is so high that all eggs collected are sold out daily with many more customers having to go home empty handed. This is a clear indication that there is room for further expansion.

Reported by: Stanley Mpasa -District Coordinator.

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