Counting her chickens

31 July 2018

Topics: farming livelihoods "sustainable development"

Raising chickens and selling the eggs has made a life-changing difference for Saliwe. Credit: Tracey Robinson/Act for Peace

How a meaningful gift for a loved one in Australia empowered Saliwe in Zimbabwe. 

Putting food on the table for her four children was hard enough before Saliwe’s husband died. They live in a rural part of Zimbabwe, where the worst drought in 35 years is crippling people’s crops and livelihoods.

After Saliwe lost her husband, surviving became even harder. With barely any income and no support, she struggled to feed her children and keep them in school.

Her two older boys moved away to find work and she was left to care for her teenage daughter and youngest son on her own. It was tough. Saliwe was desperate.

She prayed constantly, asking God to protect her and her children. Thankfully, through a Gift for Peace, her prayers were answered.
 Act for Peace’s local partner in Zimbabwe, Christian Care, saw the dire situation that Saliwe was in, and invited her to join the chicken farming program, funded through Gifts for Peace. A Gift for Peace bought by someone for a loved one in Australia, enabled Saliwe to be given chicks, feed and building materials. She learnt how to build a chicken coupe, raise healthy chickens and run her own business.

Saliwe began making an income from selling her eggs and extra chickens. Soon, she had enough to buy more chicks, as well as turkeys, which fetch a higher price. Using her business training, she found more business supplying the boarding school down the road.

Today, Saliwe is a thriving poultry farmer, and her biggest customer is the same school her daughter goes to. Because of her Gift, Saliwe can now afford to feed her children and give them the education they need to build a better life.

Saliwe stands in a nutritional garden, which is providing her Masvingo community with a valuable source of income. This is just one of twenty gardens across the region that this program has helped. Credit: Tracey Robinson/Act for Peace
Saliwe believes this gift saved her life:
I can’t thank you enough for funding this program. Without this knowledge, I would have been dead by now and I do not know what would have happened to my children.
It has made a life-changing difference for Saliwe. But it doesn’t stop there. This is a gift that gift keeps on giving. Now Saliwe is also helping to improve the lives of other children and families – by providing them with an affordable source of protein during a time of desperate shortages.

Last year, a massive outbreak of bird flu wiped out chickens across Zimbabwe. But thanks to her training, Saliwe was able to protect her chickens and livelihood, and keep bringing food to her community.

Thanks to you, Saliwe has lifted her own family out of poverty and helped others around her to survive. You’ve given her hope for the future – and the confidence that comes from knowing she can survive the worst. She told us:
I am now respected. People see me for my true worth as I have made something out of my life despite being a widow and being left with very little.

Gift some chicks! 

Want to give a loved one a meaningful gift that also helps vulnerable families like Saliwe’s?

Check out our online Gifts for Peace catalogue, where you can buy a family of baby chicks that will help to support a struggling household in Zimbabwe.
It’s one of many unique gifts that lets you touch someone in your own life, and make a lasting difference for people affected by conflict and disaster around the world.

Thank you to everyone who bought a Gift for Peace for Mother’s Day, Easter and Christmas. We hope your loved ones enjoyed their beautiful cards and reading about the life-changing programs their gifts made possible.

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