In the rural region of Iringa in the center of Tanzania, a large part of the inhabitants earn their livelihood from agricultural activities, such as maize, potato and bean cultivation, as well as animal husbandry for their own use. Yet many people live in poverty. Climate change, environmental destruction and agricultural depletion have damaged large parts of the country sustainably and made them infertile.
The traditional agricultural methods are no longer sufficient to receive enough income. Although the Tanzanian government is endeavoring to promote agriculture in a variety of ways, it is still unsatisfactory because of the many challenges it faces. In particular, climate change is a major problem for agricultural activities. Often there is not enough rainfall to irrigate the fields, which has led to poor harvests and famine, especially in the last year.
The Simama Community Organization (SICO), with the support of the Waldritter e.V., will tackle this problem by offering training to give rural area residents more effective farming with higher yields. It includes formal and informal key people to ensure the sustainability of the project. SICO prefers to use group work as a method to stimulate the exchange of knowledge among each other and to strengthen the community.
SICO professionals have selected the "Chicken Project" as a start-up project for rural education, and have started promising pilot events with two groups in Kaning'ombe and Lyamgungwe.
In the next step, twenty villages from ten districts of the Iringa region will be reached with the project to improve the lives of local residents, enabling them to send their children to school and secure their basic needs. In each of the twenty villages, a group of twenty members each is set up.
After a three day educational event that teaches villagers how to effectively and properly farm poultry, coaches select the active group members to begin the hands-on project. Together, stables will be built for the chickens and SICO will provide them with a starter pack of fifty chicks and basic supplies. The coaches will visit the groups regularly and advise them. Once the first generation chickens have been reared and they produce chicks themselves, they can be distributed to other members of the group. The project will fundamentally change the lives of participants by improving their living standards through higher yields. So they will be able to finance their accommodation and school fees for their children. The fight against poverty will raise the standard of education and, as a side effect, reduce domestic violence.