As 2017 comes to a close, I want to thank you for the way in which you have enhanced the lives of underserved women and families in rural Kenya through the Eggpreneur Initiative.
It has been a challenging year in Kenya; one of growing needs, market turbulence and anxiety. Many poor families in rural areas, especially mothers and small children, have struggled to put food on the table, pay schools fees, and cover medical bills. Eggpreneur, through its unique poultry micro-venture program, has been an oasis of hope and solutions to over 35 households in Machakos County, Kenya. Women who previously felt like failures, excluded from economic opportunity, now have dignity through successes experienced with poultry micro-ventures.
The challenges brought about by drought reinforced in us the heart of our purpose, to alleviate suffering and poverty. We developed newfound strength and the ability to creatively solve problems related to poverty. The drought caused women to become discouraged and cry out about the long distances required to find water to feed the family and the egg layer birds. We were quick to innovate new poultry solutions that were more suited to the prevailing situation. Hence, the idea of Kukupreneur was born. “Kuku” is the Swahili word for chicken. Kukpreneur refers to the women who are raising indigenous birds for three months and selling them to restaurants as meat birds. We have seen great results with more women preferring to raise meat birds compared to the egg layer birds. We have learned that in Kenya, the meat bird functions like an ATM machine for rural women. The women can sell the chicken whenever an emergency arises or when there is a family need that requires a quick fix. In this way, women are developing independence in bridging the family financial gap. The quick uptake of indigenous birds has been due to their ‘ATM equivalent’ nature, adaptability to the hot weather, and their lower demand for feed, water and space.
Anastacia, a widow and mother of four children and one grandson, has experienced success through both the Eggpreneur and Kukupreneur initiatives. Anastacia was selected, trained and equipped with a coop and 200 layers birds which generated $80 more than her previous income of $35 a month. In her second year of operation, she decided to venture into Indigenous chickens. She started with 40 birds, and soon she had accumulated 220 birds. She sells 20 chickens every month, making a profit of $110. She now generates more revenue and has more flexibility with her finances. Anasiacia can choose when to sell and whether to see independently or through the Eggpreneur platform. Eggpreneur will consolidate all the birds and sell to our restaurant and hotel partners. Since she started with Kukupreneur, Anastacia has made more income for her family, her family has more nutritious meals supplemented by eggs and poultry, and she manages to pay schools fees and save for the family.
Now is the time to renew our commitment to support the work we have started at Eggpreneur, to ask what more we can do to restore women’s economic potential and dignity within the community. Now is the time to recognize that we cannot wait for others to lead, but each one of us must act to bring our support, empathy and resources to families trapped in poverty.
The changes in transformed lives and the requests of many more women inspires us to focus, to build, and to grow. In this spirit, I ask you to renew your commitment to Eggpreneur and to join us in creating more stable communities in which we enable a new birth of rural economic empowerment, where we dare to measure our own success based on how we serve others in need rather than how they serve us.
A generous partner has already stepped forward, offering to match donation up to $100,000 before the end of the year. Please can you commit to stand with the poor this holiday season.
Thank you for your support
Have a wonderful holiday
Matt Dickson Founder & CEO Eggpreneur Initiative
Mail Cheques to: Lakeside HOPE House
PO Box 1869 Guelph, N1H 7A1 (Memo: “The Eggpreneur Project”)
Online through Canada Helps at: GIVE THROUGH THE LAKESIDE HOPE HOUSE (Please select “The Eggpreneur Project” from the drop down menu to ensure the funds are directed to Eggpreneur.)