Monday, April 8, 2013

Hope for Marera -- Project Plans

As soon as we arrived in Marera on Saturday afternoon, we met with the members of the Hope for Marera community-based organization to talk about the things we will accomplish together over the week that we are here. We batted around a few ideas that we fleshed out more fully this Sunday evening.  Here are the things we plan to do while in Kenya.

The first priority is to get this hen project started so that the CBO can start earning an income selling eggs.  There are four steps to getting this going.

1) Place chicken wire around the project site. Cost $1300 (already funded).
The project site already has a barbed wire fence in place, so all we need to do is wrap it in chicken wire. This will allow plenty of space for the laying hens to run around and be free range chickens.  Apparently, eggs from free range chickens have a darker yolk and fetch a higher price.  We already have a pre-fab chicken house on the site that is designed for raising broilers, not laying hens.  But we are going to raise our little chicks in this broiler house for about six weeks until they are old enough to leave the house and run around in the outside fenced area.

2) Purchase the day-old chicks, feed, and equipment.  Cost $500 (already funded).

3) Rebuild the Marera church building with additional room for storage.  Cost $1700 (Not yet funded).
We have two different needs that go together nicely.  First of all, we need some place to store all of the chicken feed and equipment.  But also, the Marera Church of Christ has been meeting under a tree ever since their church building was destroyed a few months ago.  What we would like to do is to help this little congregation rebuild their church building and also add on a store room for the poultry supplies.  The congregation has been saving money and purchasing materials for several months already, and they only lack about $1700 to finish the project.  It is going to be built with volunteer labor from the church, so we really just have to buy materials.  It is going to be very inexpensively constructed out of local trees and iron sheets. It would be nice to have this built before next Sunday, but we don't currently have enough cash to complete the project.  So, donations for this project are very welcome.

You can donate on the Huruma House website at:  Click the "Donate to Marera Fund" button to make sure your donation goes to this project.

4) Build a shelter for the hens with roosts and nests.
We won't actually need this until the hens are a couple of months old, so there is not an immediate need to start this project while we are here.

In addition to the poultry project, we are also doing some research into opening a small computer training center in the town of Rongo.  The idea is that the CBO would rent a little bit of space in town, and put a couple of computers in it.  Daniel, one of the CBO members, is skilled at teaching people to use computers.  One goal of this project is to allow the CBO members an opportunity to learn to use computers, and other people in town may be interested in paying for some training as well.  When the computers are not being used for training, they can be used as part of a small internet cafe.  People in Kenya pay by the minute to use an internet-connected computer.  Also, renting this space will allow the CBO members to engage in other income-generating activities.  For example, Bernard needs a little shop with a computer and a printer in order to run his budding photography business.  We don't know yet how much this project will cost until we do a bit more research in town tomorrow.

Our plans are changing daily as we get new ideas and information, so I'll try to keep you posted.

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