More than a third of India's population lives below the international extreme poverty line of $1.25 per day. West Bengal is one of the poorer states in India and living standards for the majority are declining. The families in the rural areas where we work are generally excluded from aid agency projects for simply being too poor. There are few regular, employment opportunities for rural communities, most struggle to feed their families and education is scarce.
Most of our home-farmers are agricultural labourers for 250 days per year. We chose backyard poultry as they can do this in addition to their existing work. Hindus, Muslims and Christians eat chickens and eggs, anyone in the household can care for them, little land is required and if families cannot sell the products, they can eat them. We train and educate our home-farmers in backyard poultry and sell them toolkits at a subsidised rate (10 one day old chicks, vaccinations, feed and medication).
Our Social Impact Assessments show that sale of eggs alone can supplement household income by up to 30%. For this fundraising campaign, this additional income will alleviate the terrible poverty of 1150 families within one year. Families are able to have choices, often for the first time, to improve their lives which is very empowering. Many can now build a toilet, afford more nutritious meals or better clothes for their kids, are able to send their kids to school and open small saving accounts
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).