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Jul 27, 2016
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Combat Malnutrition with the Moringa Tree
 
Jul 27, 2016

Haitian Hen Project: 1 Hen per Student

Coop Construction
Coop Construction

Greater Good is happy to announce that we have reached our initial project goal of distributing 1 hen per Hatian student!

Thanks to your generous support 279 hens were distributed to 279 Haitian students (164 primary and 115 secondary). Integrated learning is thriving at MCLC! Learning through dialogues in an environment of mutual respect is very important to MCLC, which is not the norm in Haiti. Using agricultural activities, such as hen care, to teach subjects such as math, science, language and art has become an integral part of the learning process. In the secondary school, the 8th graders studied some of the similarities and differences between the school’s indigenous and laying hens. 

 
Unfortunately however, 95 of the hens distributed have died: 61 due to Newcastle Disease, a viral poultry disease that is very contatious and 34 unhoused young hens were eaten by other animals at students homes. At the request of the students who lost their hens, they are now asking us to help them replace them. To ensure this does not happen again, they have agreed to vaccinate all of the hens they buy, to prevent the spread of disease. We want to be sure students continue to receive boiled eggs during the day at school, participate in caring for the school hens and take home a hen once they have demonstrated their ability to care for them at school.   

Our new goal is to raise funds to distribute 95 more hens to the students who's hens died.

Why is this Important

According to a study we did with the students at our school, over 70% of students had someone in their household who felt hungry or who went without eating for the whole day because there was no food available. It is important to note that this hen project is being conducted at the first ever secondary school on the Island of Gonave in Haiti. Though we are pleased that enrollement rates continue to rise, it is difficult for children to engage in learning when they are malnourished. Haiti is the poorest country in the Northern Hemisphere, with 2.5 million people living in extreme poverty (less than $1.25/day). Additionally 100,000 children under five years of age suffer from acute malnutrition, while one in three children are developmentally stunted, or irreversibly short for their age (World Food Program, 2015). In response, this hen project directly contributes to the specific needs of this malnourished community. Interviews conducted last spring indicate that hunger, illness, lack of opportunities, and financial instability are common problems in Matenwa households. A particularly severe drought this summer exacerbated these problems. According to the World Bank, it is typical for Hatian families to spend up to 60% of their already meager income on the schooling of their children, paying for high tuition fees, textbooks and other scholastic materials (World Bank, 2014). With your help we can continue to support quality education, mitigate the financial burden on households, and improve child nutrition rates through this hen project. 

Last year we finished building the exploratory chicken coop, contracting 16 builders. We also contracted an expert basket weaver to teach several of the secondary school students how to weave baskets for the hens to lay their eggs.  When we have to repair, or make new nests in the future, we now have students who are capable of this skill. Students have now gained a specialized skill that will not only be useful in the school setting, but also personally. This technical skill will provide students opportunities to create inexpensive sellable products that can help generate income. The next step is to have the secondary school students teach the upper primary school students how to weave. All of the hens have nests to lay their eggs in now which also provides more protection for the eggs. There are 16 baskets in each coop. 

MIT-Haiti Spotlight

Two professors from the MIT-Haiti Initiative came to the Matenway Community Learning Center to give a day training on physics and math computer applications. These practices are integrated into the curriculum and hen care routine at the school. 

Nest & Coop Construction

Students preparing materials to make baskets for their hens and building a coop for their hen at their home. 

Geraldson
Geraldson
Sherley
Sherley

Links:

Egg Laying Hens for Haitian Families

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