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Bunnies teach kids how to live in Southeast Asia

By October 21, 2015
(Photo courtesy Baptist Global Response)

(Photo courtesy Baptist Global Response)

SE Asia (BGR) — Awe Shey, 14, wakes up every day on a Southeast Asian farm supported by Baptist Global Response. As the sun rises, he pulls on a pair of fresh clothes and heads out into the crisp, morning air to feed rabbits. As a farm trainee, this is one of his chores.

He sticks leafy, green plants in their cages for food and gives them water so each one has what it needs to grow healthy and strong. At the end of the summer, he will complete his training and take a pair of rabbits–one male and one female–home to help support his parents and eight siblings.

Awe Shey and his family live in an impoverished area of Southeast Asia. Violence rages in certain parts of his country, and many people suffer extreme poverty. The boy’s family is poor, but his father works hard selling natural medicine and herbs. Awe Shey and his brothers and sisters also have access to education at nearby schools, a blessing not every child in his nation enjoys. The teen has just finished eighth grade and is looking forward to high school.

The family lives close to the BGR-supported farm, which trains locals how to improve their crops and how to raise various animals, including rabbits. Awe Shey’s parents have let him intern here during the summer break so he can get work experience and prepare life after graduation.

Now, Awe Shey learns to farm and to care for animals. The farm staff gives him free room and board as well as training in exchange for his labor. Throughout the long, summer days, workers teach the boy how to build cages for the rabbits, how to breed them, and how to care for them.

When he returns to school, Awe Shey will leave with his rabbits and with a cage he built himself. Those animals will multiply, and the boy will have new ones to sell, along with a new income source for his family.

And, he will have a stable way to provide for his own wife and children when he grows up.

THE SITUATION: The area in which Awe Shey lives is rural and mountainous and possesses a population of more than 5 million. The majority people groups live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood. The entire country is in an economic crisis, so people need better income generation. Many want to leave the country to find work.

HOW BGR HELPS: A local BGR partner company is developing low-cost, reproducible technologies for water, sanitation, and agriculture. The company’s projects include making and distributing water filters, demonstrating animal husbandry, modeling improved gardening techniques, and more. BGR funds help the company, support its staff, purchase supplies, and operate its facilities.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Purchase rabbits! More local farmers need fresh income sources. Click here to donate $25 for a pair of bunnies.

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