"I would say nearly everyone at the school both administration and students is suffering from some level malnourishment. So sometimes a few times a day I go and get extra food for the students. It makes them more placid and easier to teach. If there brains are working properly I do not have to repeat lessons either. "
"There is more starch here than you can eat. They need B12 vitamin (e.g. meat or eggs). Three eggs will run you just around 20 cents American here."
On Friday I finally found myself with some time to e-mail Bwambale Robert the director of the school and pitch the egg idea to him. Did he think it would be possible or feasible for me to try and raise enough funds to acquire eggs in his locality and have them shipped to the school cook daily for a breakfast program? Bwambale responded to me the next day and the beginning of the e-mail didn't look very encouraging.
He told me that although the idea sounds like a good one, it is not possible now and would be very expensive. (Note that here, as with other portions of this post, I have lightly edited Bwambale's words to make them more understandable to North American English readers.)
I calculated it for a week, a month and for a term and I came up with the below data:
300 children means 300 eggs each day.
One egg costs 300 UGX so 300 cost 90,000 UGX each day.
In a school month it would be 90,000 times 24 days, equalling 2,160,000 UGX.
In a term it would be 2,160,000 UGX times three semesters and would yield 6,480,000 UGX.
This is equivalent to USD $2644. This figure is incredibly high.
Am however planning upon funds availability to venture into a poultry project which will assist us in having the chickens lay the eggs for both school consumption and selling of the excess. This is a viable thing we as a school can do.
This is a brilliant idea and the children themselves could help keep the chickens.
I e-mailed Hemant Mehta (aka Friendly Atheist), since he is on the board of directors for Foundation Beyond Belief, who are supporting the school this quarter and asked him to confirm that my efforts to get a chicken coop aren't being duplicated somehow already by the foundation. I also asked for a good fundraising tool to help with my own project. He put me in touch with Dale McGowan (who co-authored Parenting Beyond Belief, a book I have on my Kindle) who works with the foundation. They both pointed me to Chipin.com so it looks like I'll be using that. They also confirmed that this project is not currently covered by the foundation. Thanks guys!
Over the next week I will start a modest funding drive for this project. I am still working out the exact costs and trying to break it up into costed out phases with Bwambale. We need to know what the one time start-up costs are and then what the indefinite maintenance costs will be. I honestly don't think the challenge will be with the money. It's logistical issues. Ball's in my court...
Watch this space for further developments in the coming days!