Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Future is Burning Bright in Kasaani

--Chicken chaos in the house--
Its 10pm at night, I’m sitting in chicken coop with a hurricane lantern burning beside me trying to make candles and there are sixty chickens trying to roost on my mosquito net, my stove, my shoulder, and, my colleague who is trying to sleep. What am I doing you might ask. Preparing lessons for the community development program I am running at the moment. Why am I doing it in a room full of chickens? Because the community of Kasaani was lucky enough to receive additional funding to expand the free range chicken farming project GVI started there three months earlier; the expansion of project just happened to be into the house I usually sleep in. Am I crazy? A little bit. Dose GVI really run a successful community development project? Yeah! Did the candles work? Yes!

---Debbie, Christine and Sara Deliver Candle Making Lessons to Villagers Kasaani--

After two nights of chicken assisted candle making attempts, I successfully made a natural cinnamon scented candle! With the help of a great group of GVI volunteers we taught the community of Kasaani how to make the cinnamon scented candles to add to their collection of honey based products which are being sold to a number of tourist lodges in Kenya. The products being produced by the villagers from Kasaani serve a very important purpose – they provide a community group of ex-poachers with a sustainable alternative livelihood option which discourages them from returning to poaching. The free range chicken farming project serves the same purpose. So despite some mild sleep deprivation (the roosters thought it was morning at 3.30am) and a lot of chicken droppings in our clothes, work documents, sleeping bags etc; we left Kasaani with knowing that their ability to generate sustainable incomes had just increased once again. And that means the future of the little ex-poaching community is looking a little bit brighter!

---All Smiles for the Finished Candles---

Disclaimer: No chickens were harmed in the running of this community development program and no GVI volunteers were forced to sleep in a room with chickens – staff privileges! :)