Dream Launcher Update
We asked you to help people in rural Uganda and Zambia "launch their dreams" and change the direction of their lives by providing chickens, and you responded! Read the stories below to learn how something as simple as a chicken can give a whole family hope.
"Our chickens are of more value than we imagined…our children are healthy because they eat an egg every week."
Lazarus & Mayi, Chicken Recipients
In this four-part video series, Bright Hope President C.H. Dyer makes a delivery...and changes a life!
Chicken Delivery - Part 1
Chicken Delivery - Part 2
Chicken Delivery - Part 3
Chicken Delivery - Part 4
"Because I partner with my wife in making decisions concerning our chicken, whether we should serve a visitor chicken, how many eggs to give our children... This has brought unity and a strong bond between me and my wife."
Patrick, Chicken Recipient
Five stories...five dreams launched
Click on a story to see the difference a chicken can make.
Lazarus & Mayi
From the Buikwe District in Uganda, in a small village called Kungu, we meet a man named Patrick, married and a father to four. Like others from this district, Patrick works hard to provide for his family, but his efforts can be frustrating, for as hard as he works, he barely earns enough to provide a substantial living.
Money was scarce and anxieties were high as Patrick and men like him worry about how to provide even the most basic provisions for their families… medicine, clothes, school fees. Disunity is common place between husbands and wives, the bond between life-partners diminished by the hardship and disappointment of everyday life.
Home life can be rough. The kids would have to stay home from school when the fees went unpaid. Sometimes for weeks at a time.
And the family was often hungry. In fact, when the garden didn’t yield a good crop, the family endured a period of starvation until the next harvest. There just seemed to be no alternative. Life was hard and there didn’t seem to be a way out of the devastation. Or was there?
Patrick’s life made a complete turnaround the day he received ten chickens through a Family Empowerment Program run by a Bright Hope partner church. Today he has 70 chickens and his life has improved substantially!
His children are clothed and fed.
School fees are no longer a challenge, and when someone is sick, he can afford medicine.
“My children never sit home for a week anymore because of [unpaid school] fees, I just sell a few chickens and pay fees,” Patrick said. He hopes to educate them to a level where they become “great people who will change this community.”
And his marriage has improved.
“Because I partner with my wife in making decisions concerning our chicken, whether we should serve a visitor chicken, how many eggs to give our children... This has brought unity and a strong bond between me and my wife,” Patrick said.
(Am I hearing this right? The chickens improved his marriage?!)
Patrick’s chickens are so valuable to him, he’d prefer someone giving him a chick over cash! “If someone gave you a chick, in just six months you will be eating eggs, selling chicken and breeding more chickens,” he said.
And look at how he’s strategizing with them…
Patrick has been able to own seven goats. Some he’s gotten by trading his chickens, and others he purchased with money from chickens and eggs. His garden has also benefited from the manure that the chickens and goats produce, and his goal now is to sell some chickens and goats to be able to buy a cow.
“My ultimate goal is to make this a family business,” he said. “I want to have more chickens, more cows and goats. My children should be able to also benefit from this blessing of knowledge and resources that Bright Hope brought.”
(P.S. As a member of the father’s club at one of our partner churches (a Bright Hope initiative), Patrick isn’t keeping this all to himself: he is encouraging other members to start keeping chickens too! We think that’s awesome.)
Shafiq is a Christian, living in rural Uganda who was given chickens—but he’s decided to call them “dream launchers”—and they’ve set life on a different course for him and his family.
Let us explain…
Shafiq was at his breaking point trying to support his family of 16. They grew crops, but their land wasn’t big enough to produce both food for their family to eat, as well as enough surplus to sell and support their needs. He rented more land so he could grow more, but he struggled to pay the landlord’s fees.
But then, boom—game changer: Shafiq received 10 chickens from Bright Hope.
Within a month, they were laying eggs and multiplying. He divided the eggs so that some were sold, some were eaten by the family, and some were left to hatch and increase the number of his flock.
Within about six months from when the chickens began laying, Shafiq was able to sell 20 chickens. Now he’s been able to earn enough money to easily pay for the land he’s renting, buy seeds for planting, feed his family, and pay for his children to go to school.
“We have named our chickens ‘dream launchers.’ They have helped us launch our dream of educating our children. We never lack seeds for our garden and we are able to…boost nutrition in our home,” Shafiq told us.
Dream launchers. This is awesome. We love how something as seemingly insignificant as an inexpensive chicken has the potential to change a life—not just for one person, but for an entire family.
Shadia is an ambitious 11-year-old financial manager. Sure, it may only be for her family now, but how many 6th grade financial planners do you know?
It all started when her father received 10 chickens from Bright Hope’s partner church in Bugobo. These chickens multiplied and began laying at least 60 eggs a week. That was good…but it wasn’t good enough for Shadia. She’s one of 11 children and so most of the eggs were being eaten by the family; she wasn’t satisfied with this because consuming most of the eggs wasn’t helping the family get ahead in the long run.
With such a large family, it hasn’t been easy for them to survive in rural Uganda. They needed a strategy to pay for school fees, clothes for so many people, and a way to produce enough food to eat and sell for income.
Shadia advised her father to start selling some of the eggs so they could use the money to pay for the things they needed. The family came together for a meeting and they chose Shadia to be the family treasurer.
Her father started selling eggs at the trading center for 50 Ugandan shillings apiece… and, as treasurer, Shadia is the one who keeps the money. They use this money to buy vegetable seeds, grow crops, and then sell the harvest at 1,500 shillings per kilogram—5,000 of which Shadia puts into savings.
Taking it a step further, Shadia gives loans to family members…and makes them repay in two weeks with 2% interest! Her older siblings take loans when they want to buy themselves clothes or shoes, and her father takes loans as well to hire people to help with the farming.
“Everyone is free to borrow from the savings, but they pay back with interest,” Shadia explains. “Though Mummy and Daddy have to pay more interest of 4% because they take more money.”
But it doesn’t stop there. And it didn’t really start with the chickens.
Because at Bright Hope we’re not just about economic empowerment…we’re about equipping the whole family spiritually, emotionally and financially—with all of it funneling through from the local church.
Well, Shadia and her siblings went through life skills training provided by Bright Hope through our partner church, where Shadia’s family attends. Something they learned from the training is that instead of waiting for their parents to provide for them, they themselves should take part in making their lives better.
So, to earn money, Shadia’s older siblings do odd jobs like fetching water, working in people’s gardens, and laying bricks. And everyone is supposed to contribute to the family savings fund from their earnings.
Shadia is too young to earn income the way her siblings do, but she has applied what she learned in the training to her own life by choosing to be manager of the family finances.
“We now plan to encourage Shadia to start up another savings group for all the children in the neighborhood,” said Aminah, Shadia’s mother. “We want her to explore her talent more but also to give a chance to other families to enjoy the benefits that we have started enjoying.”
The role the church has played in this family’s life is multi-faceted. Shadia’s father, Shafiq, is a part of the fathers’ club at their church, where, among other things, he learns more about chicken farming. And both Shadia’s mother and father have attended the church’s parenting courses. (The fathers’ club and parenting courses are both Bright Hope initiatives). Since participating, Aminah and Shafiq are applying what they learned and are encouraging their children to participate in helping provide for the family.
“This is a good idea because it has taught my children responsibility; they value family assets—especially the chickens, which are our best earning tool,” Shafiq said. “They take turns in looking after them and medicate them when I am away. I feel relieved now that my children can meet some of their needs.”
And, just like many a proud father, Shafiq will brag about his young daughter who pushed the family into starting their own savings fund that has changed the course of life for this entire family.
Lazarus and Mayi's Story
Which would you prefer, a little money or a chick? “Chick!” was Lazarus and Mayi’s mutual, enthusiastic reply.
Because when a family has chickens, a family has options. Having options means eggs can be sold, eaten or hatched into more chicks, and chickens can be eaten or sold for money to pay for necessities like school fees, medicine and clothing.
Lazarus and Mayi’s family lives in a little village called Bugubo in Uganda. They received 10 chickens through our family empowerment project, and their chickens have increased their income and reduced some of their financial worries.
“Our chickens are of more value than we imagined… our children are healthy because they eat an egg every week,” Lazarus shared.
Though Mayi is a nurse and Lazarus is a farmer, they didn’t have enough income before to pay rent and school fees. But now Mayi said she can sell eggs and chickens to get the money they need to meet many of their home needs…and even hire people to help with the farming, Lazarus said.
At the time of interview, Lazarus and Mayi had multiplied their flock to 40 chickens and many little chicks!
According to Mayi, “there is less value in Ugandan money these days, so you will use it buying sugar and salt and finish it before doing any investment, but with a chick—if well catered for—in just four months you will be selling eggs to make money and you will have more chicken coming your way when it hatches the remaining eggs.”
This is real impact, with real, evident change for an entire family. THANK YOU for giving options, empowerment and Hope to families like Lazarus and Mayi’s in Uganda and Zambia!
Saida felt a stirring in her heart.
A wife and mother of six, she had gone through an orphan and vulnerable children’s seminar with Bright Hope, and she felt God was moving in her spirit. Saida decided to step out in faith and help educate and care for an orphaned boy whose mother was down on her luck.
Living in Kavule, a small village in eastern Uganda, Saida believed the best way to help eleven-year-old Moses was by giving him an education and chance to thrive in life.
Then God blessed her with ten chickens from the Bright Hope partner church that hosted the family empowerment seminar. Saida has high expectations for how the chickens will make a difference for her family.
“Since I had no job before getting this chicken, I am committed to taking good care of them,” she said.
“I am sure I will be able to pay school dues, which are up to twenty thousand shillings... But also, I will be able to buy scholastics.”
Saida believes that the chickens will take some of the financial burden off her husband and help cover basic needs for their large family—things like sugar and children’s clothing, she said.
With the income, she has even bigger hopes than just buying things like food and clothing for her children.
“It will make us all happy when our chicken farm grows bigger,” Saida says. “I plan to expand and be able to sell some eggs… I will also boost the diet of my children because we will not only keep chicken[s] for money but also our own consumption.”
Like many other famers, Saida believes that the gift of chickens is even greater than being given money, because once the chicken is mature, it truly can be the gift that keeps on giving.
Other Ways to Serve the Poor
Bright Hope offers many ways to help serve the extreme poor in the countries where we work. Here are two easy ways to get more involved.