In Burkina Faso, Better Chickens are an Antidote to Hunger and Militancy
Burkina Faso struggles with criminal and ideologically-motivated armed groups.
One small NGO is addressing this through “passing on the gift” chicken farming.
This is a model in which World Neighbors purchases superior chickens (and other animals) and gives them to a handful of farmers who are also trained in breeding and other techniques. When these farmers’ chickens have chicks, the farmer “passes on” at least one of them to another farmer without them. Along with the chick comes instruction from the farmer in breeding, more advanced veterinary skills, etc.
As in all World Neighbors programs, there is a focus on female farmers.
Over time, an entire village has more productive livestock and the technical knowledge to maximize the health, output and market price of the animals. When chickens (and other animals) are sold, a small amount of profit is put into a community-managed revolving fund. This fund is used to purchase additional livestock to expand the program and make it self-sustaining. It is also a means through which farmers learn basic financial skills.
In addition, “passing on the gift” is a means to increase community solidarity and improve the status of women. This is augmented by other projects, including savings and credit programs.
Village-level solidarityand increased incomes help dim the allure of militant groups and criminal gangs—“hooligans”—who attempt to recruit in remote villages.
World Neighbors currently works in 80 villages in Burkina Faso and Mali. About 6,000 women and hundreds of men have been involved in chicken and other programs over the past 3 years.