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Peace Corps Volunteers Improve Nutrition in Tanzanian Community by Teaching Proper Chicken Care

Peace Corps volunteers Luke and Samantha Temple of Durango, Colorado, are generating local income and boosting nutrition rates in their Tanzanian community by teaching proper chicken care techniques to local community members. The Temples trained a group of 23 village representatives in practices that included building safe chicken shelters, making nutritious feed and preventing diseases. With help from the trained village representatives, they have educated more than 200 community members.

“Chickens are low-maintenance, inexpensive livestock and because of that, it is easy to justify little or no care for them,” said Luke Temple, a graduate of Knox College who closed his service in Tanzania in November. “This neglect leads to reduced poultry production, low yields of eggs and high mortality. The adoption of cheap and simple chicken care techniques eliminates these inefficiencies and helps owners reach full potential and production—they produce more chickens and eggs, which can be sold for income or consumed for nutrition.”

After the initial training, the community representatives were tasked with teaching at least three fellow neighbors proper chicken husbandry techniques. Community members had three months to implement key practices that they learned during training, which included building better chicken shelters, utilizing home-made supplemental feeds and improving care for chicks and sick chickens. The households that successfully employed those practices were given seven young chickens. In all, 210 chickens were distributed to community members that had demonstrated a greater understanding of the best ways to raise chickens.

“This project has created a ripple effect in the community,” Luke Temple said. “One of the stipulations for households that received chickens initially was that they had to give five chicks to a neighbor in addition to passing on the knowledge they learned about chicken husbandry. This idea was completely proposed by the villagers who comprised the project’s leadership committee.”

This project was funded by Feed the Future, a White House initiative that aims to reduce hunger, poverty and malnutrition around the world. The Peace Corps is one of 11 federal departments and agencies contributing to Feed the Future, and more than 1,200 Peace Corps volunteers have helped to bring important food security messaging and practices to the grassroots level.

“I’m optimistic that the enthusiasm for this project in my community will lead to the continuation of the project’s goals of reducing poverty, increasing financial independence and improving health,” Luke Temple said.

This post originally appeared on the Peace Corps website.

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