Original story by Magdalena Wos, Heifer International South Africa Country Program resource development officer.
After months of preparations, the dreams of 100 members of the Sukuma Poultry Project came true on Saturday as Heifer provided them each chickens.
Sukuma Poultry Project is located in Mabhaleni Village, near Port Shepstone, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The Sukuma group was initially established in 2008 and was primary concentrated on broiler production. But without the necessary skills and faced with high feed costs, members of Sukuma group were struggling to generate income and make their businesses profitable. Finally, they decided to contact Heifer and ask for assistance.
Heifer International South Africa started to work with the group at the beginning of this year. A total of 172 initial members of Heifers Sukuma Poultry project received training on poultry management, vegetable production and gender equality. On July 18,2011, they were provided with fruit trees like mango, banana or avocado. But the biggest change, a gift of livestock, was still ahead of them.
During last couple of months, families and Heifer staff worked hard together to prepare chicken enclosures and get the farmers ready to receive livestock. Over the past two weekends, for the first 100 project members the happy day finally came, and 2,550 chickens were delivered to them. The chickens will begin laying eggs within days, providing a rich source of protein to the families and income from selling eggs to others in their communities.
The remaining 72 families will receive chickens during next couple of months.