Bolivia (MNN) — A “helping hen” is changing the future for children in Bolivia. Last October, Food for the Hungry (FH) distributed young hens to Bolivian farm families. They taught families how to care for the chickens and how to build coops to keep the birds safe from predators.
Now that the hens are mature enough to start laying eggs, new opportunities are unfolding for impoverished families.
First of all, eggs are an excellent source of protein for parents and children alike. Protein allows adults to work for longer periods of time before feeling hungry. For children, fighting back hunger means better focus in school. Learning how to care for chickens also provides kids with a possible job skill.
Secondly, eggs are a source of income. By selling the eggs they don’t need, families can afford school uniforms and books, as well as any medical necessities. Most families in Bolivia grow the food they eat, but extra income from the sale of eggs allows for the purchase of supplementary food items.
“With the eggs my hens provide, I can first feed my children better and also improve their nutrition and their performance in school,” states Eugenio Quespia, one of FH’s chicken recipients.
With a total of 10 children, the Quespia’s are a snapshot of the typical family in this part of Bolivia. Families are usually large, with most of the children still living at home. Parents often migrate for work in soybean and cotton fields, or as domestic and construction workers. This leaves elderly grandparents to care for the children.
While most parents send money back home, that’s not always the case. One of the groups targeted by FH for the chicken distribution was grandparents who are raising their grandchildren alone.
By meeting basic needs, doors open for FH to share the Gospel. Learn more about their work in Bolivia here.