One Hen Campaign
Empowers women and youth economically in rural Kenya with an indigenous hen and cage as a micro-loan. We create a platform for to train them on agribusiness and poultry management and business
One Hen Campaign Project is a platform where youths and women in rural Kenya are empowered through a micro-loan in form of one indigenous hen and a cage and after 6 months one surrenders 2 pullets for onward lending and sustainability of the project. The One hen and cage acts as a platform for us to train the youths and women on poultry management, entrepreneurship, agribusiness, financial management, adaptation to climate change, value chain and addition and other cross-cutting issues. Our approach is by mobilizing youths and women in every village come together, form and register youth and women groups with the ministry of Social and Gender development. As we keep on training them we assist them conduct asset mapping, needs assessment, come up with an action plan and finally assist them come up with a resource mobilization strategy.
Research has shown us that the "most careless farmer" given one hen for a whole year it will give him/her 100 hens! a farmer that we have trained exceeds 100 hens in one year. One hen goes at Kshs.400 multiplied by 100 hens is Kshs. 40,000 per year equivalent to a dairy cow. When we give hens to youths and women in a given village we help them come up with a Village Agrovet where they buy and sell chicken feeds, drugs and other items to the group members and villagers at a large. With availability of funds we are also exploring means and ways of assisting the groups start making their own livestock feeds at the village level. From One hen a youth or woman moves from owning a hen to a goat to a cow then to owning major businesses after one year and this in turn has not only created employment for himself but also others.
The process of making the cages, we have devolutionized it to the village level where all what is needed we acquire it within the territory of our village youth groups.i.e. labor, timber, wire mesh and nails. In turn the youths who make cages together with our professional cage makers acquire knowledge which they will use to make such cages for the villagers and pay for the time.
Through a network of all the Youths and women who are beneficiaries of the One Hen Campaign Project we have come up with a savings and credit cooperative society owned by the beneficiaries called Sky Sacco Ltd where the youths and women will be doing minimum a micro-saving of an egg per week and after regularly saving for 3 months one is able to access a micro loan equivalent to 3 times of his or her savings. The micro loan obtained is used to start kitchen garden, expand poultry business and start other businesses. In addition the Sacco offers market linkages for the members where it also creates a platform for members to sell as a group hence cushions them against brokers who are exploitative. The Sacco has created employment for the youths and women in various villages and sustained markets where they supply there produce to. Interest and dividends earned by members are used to expand their businesses and sustain them.
One hen campaign project differs from others in that is very innovative in its own right as it gives youths and women seed which is One Hen and a cage which each considers as his/her business enterprise. Then it is coupled with trainings that make the venture sustainable. The trainings also paves way for creation of other cottage industries in the villages that help create employment. Simplicity of our project i.e. the hen and cage are very cheap, easy to rear, not labor intensive, impact seen within a short period of time e.t.c all this make the project different from others.
The project has created both direct and indirect employment opportunities for the youths and women at village levels. i.e. over 50 youths in every village can make cages and sell, 100 young ladies involved in rearing of hens and kitchen gardening.
One hen campaign project has led to emergence of a new breed of young entrepreneurs at the village levels who have set-up businesses enterprises who trace their success to the one hen we gave him/her as it helped him/her open mind. 20 new business enterprises emerge in a village where we have a youth or women group most villagers have an average population of 500 people.
Young people who have been migrating from rural areas to urban areas in villages where we have interventions are reducing i.e. through a survey we conduct before a training we ask how many will want to go to Nairobi city to look for a job three quarters of youths are ready but after our training only a quarter will still insist that they will try their luck in the city.
Our initiative has created the culture of self reliance among the youths i.e. start of their own income generating activities i.e. rearing of chicken, kitchen gardening,start of barber and salon shops, retail shops, agrovets,cottage industries e.t.c. this has cut across along young men and ladies but close to 70% are young ladies. The earnings of the village youth groups members have greatly improved through data of their improved savings in the sacco.
One Hen Campaign Project won a Global award in Durban South Africa during the UN Climate Change Conference in December 2011 in a competition dubbed Connect4Climate sponsored by World Bank. The competition aim was to gather and involve youths in telling climate change stories in Africa . Our project took position 2 in Agriculture category in 18-24 years age group of 700 entries that were submitted from Africa.
Further the impact of One hen Campaign Project to beneficiaries has been documented by various media houses as a case study for youths throughout the country to emulate. Follow below links:
Through this experience these are some of the lessons learnt on what does or does not work.
Organizing the youths and women into groups and getting them registered by the ministry of Social and Gender Development.
Assisting them conduct asset mapping, needs assessment, develop action plan and coming up with resource mobilization strategy enables youths in this groups identify gaps in their villages which are opportunities they can invest in.
Giving the one hen and a cage is symbolic and makes them pay attention to the trainings we offer because on each topic we relate it to the hen they already have.
Letting the beneficiaries own the project i.e. for our case we have devolutionized cage making i.e.labor and all materials necessary are acquired within the village of the youth group, letting them contribute part of the money for making cages creates ownership and a repayment of 2 pullets after 6 months increases the degree of being caring for the hen. Setting the average price of a hen and giving them money towards the day of the official presentation of hens and cages to look for a hen one desires reduces complains and leveling of expectations from the members. We will come in for vaccination and extension services in collaboration with ministry of livestock development.
Our entity is youth led and youth managed i.e. all the management team is less than 27 years in fact the CEO is 24 years old and this not only motivates the youths themselves when they see a fellow youth but also resonates well with them as we are of the same generation.
What can't work is involving old people in front line for a youth empowerment project instead of them taking an advisory role. Organization sourcing hens and distribute to members- there are high chances of disease outbreak and a million complains from farmers as the hens are not of the same size.
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- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji1CBooeWVo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2-DWtzKik8