28 January 2016
|The current batch of Boschveld Chickens, at approximately 8 weeks, going onto 9 weeks old. (Tendai Makoni/Jesuit Refugee Service)|
|"The proceeds so far are not much, but we hope that as the chickens continue to grow, the income will become more... We are grateful that you have not forgotten us single mothers, may God richly bless you”|
Tongogara, 28 January 2016 - The smile on the faces of the single mothers says it all. Following the success of the piggery project, JRS enrolled 30 women to start the chicken project. Thanks to funding from Julia Taft, this was made possible for this group of women and a fowl run was built in November 2015. The first lot of 200 Boschveld Chickens were purchased in November, as well 100 Quails (gamebirds).
After a week’s training in Business Management and Leadership, the ladies then began their project in earnest. The women split themselves into 2 groups, comprising of 15 women per group. They take turns in cleaning the fowl run, feeding the chickens and changing the water and bedding. The 2 groups have different chairpersons, Mansoni Nsona and Maria Therese, and Victorine Bitendano, is the secretary for both groups. According to Victorine, the arrangement is working out perfectly as all the women get to work 1 day per week in groups of 3 to look after the chickens, from Monday to Sunday.
Boschveld Chickens mature at 18 weeks old at which stage they will start laying eggs of their own. The current batch are 8 weeks, going onto 9 weeks old. The intention of the women, according to the secretary, is to sell eggs as well as the meat from the chickens. They will separate the males from the females, slaughter the males for meat sales (leaving a few for breeding purposes) and then sell their eggs on a daily basis. However, the Quails are now laying eggs. They are 9 week old now, and started laying eggs at 7 weeks. These eggs, according to the women, have medicinal values and is good for supplementing dietary requirements when living a variety of ailments including hypertension, diabetes and HIV.
“The women are very happy, thank you very much for remembering us women in this project, before we were just staying at home with no prospect of getting job, but because of the donors, we now have jobs. The proceeds so far are not much, but we hope that as the chickens continue to grow, the income will become more. If possible, we would really appreciate it if our donor is able to give us more chickens, as well as another fowl run, so that we as single mothers can have more income as the food rations have been replaced by the cash voucher and we need to look after our children. We are grateful that you have not forgotten us single mothers, may God richly bless you” said Victorine, the secretary of the groups, with a broad smile on her face.
+27 11 618 3404