For those of us who have enough food to eat, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to try to function on an empty stomach most of the time. Being constantly hungry would make it hard to focus on anything, hard to do our jobs, hard to do chores, hard to go to school and learn. But that’s exactly the reality many people around the world face every day, and it’s one of the many problems GreaterGood is committed to helping solve.
Malnutrition due to poverty and food shortage means more than just empty stomachs for children and adults around the globe. It also contributes to the perpetuation of the cycle of poverty, because children may be forced to work instead of going to school, or they may go to school but be unable to learn properly because of their extreme hunger.
66 million children throughout the world currently attend primary school hungry, which keeps them from excelling in their classes. And without quality education, these children cannot grow up to earn decent living wages and change their communities for the better.
Thankfully, there are programs like this one, which aims to alleviate poverty and hunger in a sustainable way for communities in need. With your help, GreaterGood is donating flocks of egg-laying hens to those who need them and providing education on flock care and maintenance, coop building, and more to these small-scale farmers.
The hens’ eggs provide a reliable source of protein and other nutrients for the farmers’ families, and any eggs that are not eaten can be hatched. The resulting baby chicks will grow into hens and roosters that can provide eggs and meat that the farmers can sell or give away to other community members in need. Over time, the growing flocks of chickens can provide much-needed nourishment to countless people!
“I consider this project like a gift from God to help me face the poverty in Haiti,” says Auguste Marie Marthe, a mother of eight who uses the profits from her chickens’ eggs to pay for her children’s education.
Two farmers in Haiti are the perfect example of one small act of good becoming a much larger improvement in the quality of life for an impoverished community. In Haiti, diets are mostly plant-based, and access to animal protein is scarce. These two farmers were each given a flock of hens, and they responsibly grew their flocks until they were able to provide 300 children at the nearby Institute Edeline with protein for their school lunches every day.
For many of these students, school lunch is the only meal they eat every day, making the eggs all that much more important. This simple but nutritious food provides the children with protein to help their bodies and brains grow and keep them full so they can focus on their education. It also helps make them less susceptible to illness so they can stay healthier and stay in school. All these factors come together to ensure that students at the institute will have the best chance at success in their adult lives.
“It has really been amazing in such a short amount of time. The students are all getting a hard-boiled egg when they arrive, and this is really showing drastic changes already,” says the school’s director, Steph Hoffman. “Many of the kids usually arrive very lethargic, and in the past we would give them some small crackers and then they were off to class. But they were still falling asleep in the morning classes. Now (since the morning eggs) they appear alert, and one teacher said last week she had all eyes open in her first-grade class. The rest of the eggs are being mixed into their lunch meal, and I’m sure this is making a difference also, but we will watch for more objective changes as time goes on.”
Egg-laying hens are the opportunity many impoverished families and communities around the globe need to become self-sustaining and economically sound. Just $18 provides a family with a flock of hens and a coop that has the potential to grow and feed hundreds of malnourished people and end the cycle of poverty.
Every cent of your GreaterGood donation goes to charity! Donate today to feed a community both now and in the future with a flock of egg-laying hens!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?