I send you word from my mother who has been in-country for almost 2 weeks, hugely busy. She already has looked into starting Rose in Zambia and goes this week to the capital to find out more.
My mothers news from Zambia cheers me up and keeps me focused on why we do this.
First off, the chicken project is a success. The women are still in business, have 49 birds right now, and have had the ultimate compliment in that other women are copying them. So they must really be doing quite well. And this is really thanks to Heidi and Vancouver friends who provided funds. We would not have had the money to initiate this. My mother spent a month with a meeting every day for an hour going over the process with the women. Part of these meetings are also about running a business. My mother is excellent with this kind of thing. She can go slowly and very methodically so it is absorbed. She really understands the rural people. When she arrives there are many people waiting to speak to her about their troubles.
The chickens were quite complicated as these are hybrid chooks, ( high yielding) so need a complicated regime. My mother`s time with the women also emphasized that this was an opportunity for these ladies, not an on-going handout. I am hoping that not too many other women will not also copy in as they will flood the market and undercut one another. So we will look around for new ideas this time.
Sadly, one of the women, Maureen, who does this project, has just lost her ex husband who used to help with the expenses of their 5 small children. I liked him. His name was Bonnie. He went off his ARV’s for some reason. So now she has her five kids plus the five she adopted from her sister who died, and she is HIV too. 10 little kids. SO the chickens will be even more important.