Democratic Republic of Congo:
Chicken and Rabbit Farms
When the Slate Foundation reached Eastern Congo in 2005, they found that one of the ways that single mothers survived was by trapping the endangered gorillas of the area to feed their family and to sell the excess meat at market for their income.
Of course these women need to eat and feed their children, they also need to make an income to support their family, but the Slate Foundation believed that there was a better way than killing the gorillas. Instead, The Slate Foundation found believed that there was a better way than killing the gorillas. Instead, The Slate Foundation found local chicken and rabbit farms located not far from the village and introduced a chicken and rabbit pen to replace the gorillas.
The program started with just 20 women and 25 chickens. After the first year we added rabbits too. Luckily, chickens and rabbits are good at multiplying fast, and by 2009, the chicken and rabbit project was feeding and bringing in income to over 500 women in the surrounding villages. They have used a combination of eating the rabbits, chickens and eggs, and selling the eggs and some of the offspring at market. Now, the women no longer need to poach the gorillas and the Eastern Congo gorilla population has begun to grow again.
Life in the Eastern DRC
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been the center of an ongoing, brutal war that has led to an estimated 5.4 million deaths and displaced over 3 million people. Most of the fighting has been located in Eastern Congo. While a ceasefire was signed by a number of the warring parties in 2008, the agreement has not successfully stabilized the most volatile provinces. A new phenomenon that began to occur during the violence is that the militias started using rape as a weapon of war, mutilating the woman’s reproductive organs in the process and often impregnating and transmitting HIV to these women. Many of the women who have been lucky enough to survive find themselves shunned and stigmatized by their community because of what happened to them.
Many of these women live in rural communities, where agriculture and some hunting is their primary form of sustenance. They usually live in a wood or mud hut with a thatched roof and a dirt floor. Most of the women are between 16 and 30 years old and many times have between 2 and 8 children, sometimes more. The majority of these women have found themselves widowed by either the war or AIDS or outcast from their communities and are now single mothers.
Give the Gift that keeps on Giving!
- $5 - Donate a chicken to a Congolese mother
- $10 - Donate an A-frame cage for 4 animals to a Congolese mother
- $80 - Donate 4 rabbits and rabbit feed for 3 months to a Congolese mother
- $90 - Donate 5 hens, 1 rooster and chicken feed for 3 months to a Congolese mother
- $100 - Donate a parcel of land to a Congolese mother
- $190 - Donate 5 hens, 1 rooster, chicken feed for 3 months and transportation to the Butembo Market to sell her eggs and chicks to a Congolese mother
- $220 - Donate a single mother a parcel of land and the materials needed to plant a field of Cassava or a field of Maize to a Congolese mother
- ? - Helps a Congolese mother and her family as much as possible