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What do Chickens have to do with Microfinance? - Sharone Perlstein - Microfinance

I visited Rwanda in November of 2020.  Rwanda is beautiful, some call it the Switzerland of Africa, for it’s rolling hills, greenery, mango trees, avocado trees and more.    Yet, poverty thrives here.  I have not yet seen a country where so many of its citizens do not have access to water.  They have to walk for hours to to nearest stream or well.

Many young men ride their bicycles with 50-100 liters of water jugs, pushing the bikes up-hill and using their feet to slow down the speed on the downhill (no way the breaks on the bike will suffice).

I met a wonderful young man, who lives by Virunga; the famous volcano,  where the Gorillas live.

His english was perfect.  He told me he had to leave school because of the lack of ability to pay for it (he was around 16 years old).  Wanting to help out, I tried to figure out a way for a sustainable donation.  I gave him some money, but that was a short term view. I was breaking my head thinking what could I do for him that would really help him and his family out.

To my suprise, I came across  articles on the web by the former CEO of Tyson Foods, Donnie Smith and Tyson (the largest poultry producer in the US and maybe the world) thought that chickens can help alleviate poverty and nutrition in developing countries.

Funny enough, but thanks to Tyson Foods, I came across a great company, called Uzima Chicken, that assists Rwandans in starting their own Chicken business.  And so, there it is.  I bought him 50 chickens that are 45 days old and feed for the next 3 months. It cost me $350.  He got the chickens today!!!!

In a few months his family will have eggs to eat and sell.  They can sell them for between $0.07 – $0.10 per egg and obviously, they can sell some chickens off for profit.   In any case, they will now be able to consume a good amount of protein in their diet.

Chickens would be a perfect fit for microfinance!!