The Value of a Chicken

Post a Comment » Written on February 10th, 2014     
Filed under: Community Development
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My family used to have chickens, well really only roosters who’s total function was to crow at ridiculous hours of the morning. There were no hens and there were no eggs, so eventually we just gave them away to our neighbors and were glad to be rid of them. This situation would be unthinkable for a family in Northwest Cameroon, however, where chickens are extremely important culturally. Chickens are fundamental to the community. So much so that chickens are served only for special occasions like marriages and the birth of a newborn to symbolize strong cultural attachment and future wellbeing.

A Proud Hen FamilyFormer Covenant Missionary Sharon Davis is partnering with veterinarian Dr. Napoleon to work on empowering the rural communities in Northwest Cameroon by using the chicken.  They started a breeding program a few years ago to help support the rural community of Belo. Chickens were sold to community members and were given free vaccinations to improve their health and create sustainable farms.  This project has been so successful it has grown to another phase called “Passing on the Gift.” Passing on the Gift is a “pay it forward” way of working on development and community engagement.

At the start of this phase of the project, about 100 Belo families worked together to refurnish an old building to use as a chicken brooding farm.  Once the chickens are mature, they will give two chickens to an at-risk family in the group. In addition, the families will receive free vaccinations, health care, and management training for their animals. The family will take the chickens, care for them and return the gift by offering two chickens of every hatch back to the community farm and participate in group events. These events include supporting the community farmers and fellowshipping with group members.

Unlike my family’s experience so many years ago, chickens have the ability to bring a community together, providing opportunity for family leadership and communion. The people of Belo are very hopeful that this project will help improve the well-being of their families to the Glory of God.


–by Michyla Lindberg, CWR intern

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