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Mama Grace Garden and Chicken Project

By April 11, 2014 No Comments

THIS PROJECT IS COMPLETE

The Happy Africa Foundation is working with the local Department of Social Welfare and the Siyazisiza Trust to support the initiative by raising funds to provide a grant for the renovation of the existing buildings and equipment.

In the community of Mange, bordering Thanda Game Reserve to the north, many families live in very basic conditions. Often devastated by the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, parents struggle to support their own children, unable to feed, clothe or educate them. Despite their bleak situation, the people are desperate to develop new skills that will enable them to become independent. However, a dire lack of services and opportunities in the area makes it extremely difficult for local people to lift themselves out of poverty.

The project consists of an ingenious and hard working committee of women who run a small business selling chickens. Because they are the only suppliers of chickens in the area, there is a real need for more chicken breeders. The project empowers local women and is a great model for a sustainable business that could be duplicated in the surrounding areas.

The Mama Grace Garden and Chicken Project is in need of new and improved buildings and equipment, as well as skills training and support, in order to grow and flourish. While the community has committed to supplying their labour for free, an initial grant is needed for the purchase of building materials and equipment before renovations can begin.

The Happy Africa Foundation is working to support the initiative by raising funds to provide a grant for the renovation of the existing buildings and equipment as well as a large number of chickens to truly launch the project and ensure its success. There are also plans to develop a vegetable garden and to provide poultry management training and bookkeeping skills.

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Short Term Impact:
The Mama Grace Garden and Chicken Project will empower not just individuals but their entire families. The availability of chickens and vegetables from the garden will mean better health through the provision of a more nutritious diet. Income earned through the chicken trade will mean that families are better able to provide for their children.

Long Term Impact:The empowerment of local people through the transfer of business, farming and management skills is invaluable in building a better and more prosperous future for the region.

KwaZulu-Natal
The province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Eastern South Africa borders the countries of Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. As its name suggests, it is the birthplace of the proud Zulu nation. Still ruled by the Zulu royal family, the rural areas of KZN maintain a very traditional way of life. Sadly, the population of KwaZulu-Natal has been devastated by the effects of poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. A staggering 40.2% of people in the province are estimated to be infected with HIV, and about 10% of these have full-blown AIDS.

The Happy Africa Foundation has two projects in KZN; one in the coastal town of St. Lucia and one in the rural district of Umkhanyakude, in and around Thanda game reserve.

According to the District Health Barometer, the Umkhanyakude district is ranked as one of the two most deprived districts in South Africa. This is calculated using a combination of indicators including unemployment rates, access to piped water and electricity, low education levels and female-headed households with high numbers of children.

The district has an unemployment rate of approximately 48%. There is limited access to education, health services and income generation projects. Unlike many areas in South Africa, there are very few NGOs operating in the area.

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