When Matt Dickson began the MSc Global Health program at McMaster, his intention was always to return home to Kenya, where he hoped to one day make a difference in the country’s rural communities. Today, he’s doing just that. In January 2015, Dickson started Eggpreneur, a social community project that supports sustainable egg production at a remote rural homestead in Kenya.
Eggpreneur trains and engages women egg farmers (“Eggpreneurs”) to develop the knowledge, skills and partnerships required for sustainable egg production. “It’s a social entrepreneur model that uses poultry farming as a tool to eradicate child malnutrition,” explains Dickson. “At the same time, it’s creating jobs and increasing household income for Kenyan women.”
The project was borne of Dickson’s research work during the Global Health program. “But it was all part of a bigger plan,” he explains. “I knew I wanted to take all of my knowledge and experience – everything I’d learned – back to Kenya.”
What the program helped him do was to prepare for the opportunities ahead.
“The program opened my mind to critical thinking, international development and strategic planning to tackle the most pressing global health issues,” says Dickson, who explains that the program inspired him to think more about child malnutrition, a major global issue that leads to negative health outcomes for millions. “So many children are mentally and physically disabled due to poor diet in their earliest months of life. I wanted to do something about it,” he says.
For Dickson, Eggpreneur represents his chance to give back. Having witnessed poverty and experienced it first-hand, he is thankful for the education, training, and connections the program has afforded him. “The whole reason I joined McMaster was because I wanted to be one of the leading young scholars tackling the quest for ending extreme poverty and malnutrition,” says Dickson, reflecting on his decision and the peers with whom he worked collaboratively throughout the program. It seems only fitting that fellow McMaster GH graduate Faye Stoter has recently joined the project, helping to make Eggpreneur a success.
“Our vision is ambitious,” admits Dickson, “but we’re proud of that, because we’re committed to it, and we believe we can make it happen.”
To support the Eggpreneur project, you can donate through Lakeside Hope House in Guelph (Please reference 'Eggpreneur' on your cheque/payment memo or select Eggpreneur online).