Things Don’t Always Go as Planned

Post a Comment » Written on September 25th, 2009     
Filed under: Community Development
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We just visited the CWR sponsored poultry project in Kitengala, Kenya. Pastor Simon explained all of the difficulties they had encountered implementing the project during the past year. Due to inexperience they tried to raise too many broiler chickens in the available space. As a result they lost many chickens and the ones that did survive were quite small. They eventually cut the number of chicks in half and had a 97% survival rate and much larger chickens after the five week growing cycle. Then the price of feed sky rocketed and they were not able to provide enough feed to the chickens. Both the egg laying chickens and the broilers started dying. They sent an emergency appeal to the CWR Commission and additional funds were approved. In the meantime several neighbors in the community heard about the dying chickens and loaned funds to the Kitengala Covenant Church to buy more feed. The additional CWR funds were enough to pay off the loans and buy adequate feed. For the past several months the business has been making enough off of the sales of broilers and eggs to buy enough feed, improve infrastructure, and have a healthy profit left over. In July the church found out about some Congolese refugees who were living in the area and in desperate need of food and basic supplies. The church decided to use most of the profits to care for the refugees.  Some of the Congolese people shared their stories today. Because of the war in Congo these people fled north with a large number of orphaned children whose parents had been killed in the war. This group struggled to survive and many died on the journey. But after three years 243 refugees arrived in the Kitengala area.  Most of these folks have become a part of the Kitengala Covenant Church, some of them walking more than five miles one way to the church from where they live. In addition to food and basic supplies the church is providing English classes so that the chiildren can enter the Kenya school system and so that the adults will be able to get jobs. We met a nurse, a young man with a law degree, and a social worker who speak French. HOwever they will have to learn English to work in Kenya. In the meantime several of the Congolese refugees have been hired by the poultry project leaders to sell eggs in the market and this is providing them with much needed income. Several months into the poultry project, Pastor Simon and the other leaders were in great distress thinking that the poultry project would fail. However they now marvel at how God saved the project and enabled them to reach out to the desperate Congolese refugees who appeared on the scene just in time to become the unexpected beneficiaries of this project.

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