The humble egg is creating new beginnings in the South East of Haiti. Since the earthquake in 2010, 100 new chicken cooperatives have sprung up, part of Christian Aid partner Haiti Survie’s earthquake response work.
One of the women involved, Egyptienne, is the leader of a group of men and women who run one of these cooperatives.
She loves being part of the programme and says: 'I like working as part of a group. We can share the responsibilities and help each other'.
Happy homes, healthy chickens
Each cooperative was given 50 young hens as the start of the project. They were also given bags of feed to help these young chickens reach healthy maturity.
The materials for the chicken coop were provided by Haiti Survie, and members of the community helped build it in a safe place, away from winds and rain. The coops are built with high roofs so the chickens get enough air to keep them healthy.
Locally produced eggs
Lying so close to the border with the Dominican Republic, families in the south east of Haiti are used to buying Dominican eggs brought over from their neighbouring country. They are low cost eggs, as the Dominican Republic has a large supply and produce them cheaply.
With such success in producing Haitian eggs, these cooperatives are now giving the Dominican producers a run for their money. Egyptienne collects around 35 eggs each day in her coop alone and is able to sell them in the large market in the nearby town of Thiote. 'I have a dream that I will soon be able to buy a goat with the money'
The eggs sell for just over £2 for 30, which means Egyptienne’s cooperative is making an income of between £2 and £3 each day. Within the first four weeks of production her group made around £40 – enough to justify opening a joint bank account for their savings.
From chickens to goats
The amazing things about this project is the way in which it allows the community to dream bigger, and to work to improve their individual situations.
Egyptienne says: 'Now I have a dream that I will soon be able to buy a goat with the money from selling the eggs'.
Haiti Survie’s work on securing livelihoods for communities affected by the earthquake is making a huge difference. The impact isn’t just about chickens and eggs, but creating a new life.