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Poultry Around the World

Mark Clements' view of the world poultry industry with a British twist.

UK poultry charity provides opportunity for social responsibility

May 12, 2011

For anyone looking for a corporate social responsibility opportunity, it may be worth looking at a small charity called Chicks for Change.

The UK charity, based in Barnstaple, Devon, is an initiative that provides education and contributes financial support towards a training centre in Uganda called Kira Farm Training Centre. Kira Farm Training Centre offers the opportunity for some of Uganda’s most vulnerable young people to gain valuable skills in an inventive and creative environment.

With 75% of the population relying on subsistence farming, Uganda has the second-fastest-growing and the youngest population on Earth. It also has the highest unemployment rate among 15-25 year-olds in the world. Kira Farm offers training to up to 40 students each year. With a small team of specialist instructors, the skills each student learns will be applied back in their homes and villages.

An example of recent initiative was a nine-week visit to the farm by Devon farmers Sam and Christine Chandler. One of their projects was to help design a rural chicken house for 10 “local chickens.” The aim was to breed a cross between commercial chickens and local birds which would still have the hardy attributes of the local breeds but lay up to twice as many eggs. A run was constructed entirely of materials that were free or easily accessible.

Take a look at the Chicks for Change website (www.chicksforchange.org.uk). As well as information about the work that the organization carries out, there is also a list of sponsors. These range from a restaurant to a carpet supplier and a wholesaler. I don’t see any support from anyone in the poultry industry. Might this not be a golden opportunity to get more involved in changing the world for the better? Although the founding organization was set up some ten years ago, not everything has been smooth sailing. Chicks for Change has plans to really expand its work in Uganda, it would be great if someone could step in to make those plans a reality. 

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