I have six eggs (and bacon) in my refrigerator right now, representing a quiche Lorraine in my near future. But to a family in Bolivia, eggs mean much more.
Eggs are a great source of protein, so children can grow taller and stronger. Eggs mean they won’t be too tired to pay attention in school, and they’ll be more likely to say in school until graduation.
The family can also sell the eggs for extra income. That way, they can afford school uniforms, books and an occasional trip to the doctor. And they can buy supplementary foods like fruits and vegetables the family doesn’t grow, to improve the children’s diet.
Pray for Eggs!
In October 2013, Food for the Hungry (FH) distributed young hens to Bolivian farm families including Eugenio Quespia and his wife Olimpia. Eugenio and Olympia have 10 children total; right now 8 family members are living at home, including their 13-year-old daughter Alieta, and their sons Evo, age 10 and Jhon Mario, age 3, who are sponsored children in FH’s programs.
FH provided families with chickens that weren’t yet mature enough to lay eggs. It’s expected the chickens should start laying eggs within a few weeks. And, FH taught the families how to care for the chickens and build coops to keep their birds healthy and safe from predators.
“With the eggs my hens provide, I can first feed my children better and also improve their nutrition and their performance in school,” says Eugenio.
Feeding the Most Vulnerable
The majority of the families receiving chickens have large families with many children still living at home. Another target group was grandparents raising grandchildren alone. In this part of Bolivia, able-bodied parents often migrate to the Bolivian lowlands to work in soybean or cotton fields, or to the cities to work as domestics or construction workers.
This leaves aged grandparents, broken and bent by years of hard work, to raise children. Parents often send money home, but that isn’t always the case.