Fish and Eggs: Weapons Against the Global Food Crisis

A new day begins in the city of Siguatepeque, Honduras, and with it a routine process caarried out by two girls at a child development center egg farm. They change the chickens’ water and pick up the eggs.

“Hey, here is another one,” says Keila with enthusiasm while they search for more eggs and the chickens walk between their legs.

The center is in a fresh environment with lots of pine trees. The 140 chickens lay eggs to feed the 257 children at the Pentecostal Student Center.

One of the desired outcomes of our programs is the physical development of children, but the rise in food prices has worsened our church partners’ ability to help the children grow healthy.

In Honduras, 70 percent of families in the rural areas live in extreme poverty, and in the past year, the cost of basic grains has doubled. The price of fertilizer has gone up 71 percent.

This egg farm is one of the ways Compassion Honduras is responding to the global food crisis, which has created great difficulty in the holistic development of the children.

The chicken project started as a dream of this student center in November 2008, and the dream came true through our Complementary Interventions program (CIV).

Like any new activity, the center faced many difficulties — especially when moving 200 chickens. Some of the chickens died and others were stolen.

“We decided to move again the whole thing to a better and safer place, and we currently have 160 chickens and 14 roosters,” says Sandra, the center director.

In spite of all the problems 140 chickens are laying eggs twice a day, and the center is collecting approximately 280 eggs daily.

The children now recieve a nutritional, healthy lunch based on eggs daily. The blessing goes beyond that because the children’s families can buy a cardboard box of 30 eggs for a low price, allowing the center to generate the necessary income to purchase chicken feed.

Pentecostal Student Center is now prepared and confident about the future. This activity gives them the opportunity to bless others in need.

“We have been able to rescue families from precarious nutritional conditions, and we are encouraged to keep working hard and bless many families and children in this city of Siguatepeque,” says Sandra.

In the meantime, Keila and her sister Keren continue with their chores at the egg farm, and have a great time playing with the chickens. Both know how important their work is.

In the warm city of Comayagua, another great CIV program is taking place at Vida Cristiana Student Center: a micro-project fish production that intends to help 312 children and their families.

For Yanira, the center director, this idea started as a vision to help many people, especially children who are living in extreme poverty with so many needs.

“We have seen the need of many families, not only for the lack of food but also because many parents do not have a job and as a result do not have the means to buy food for their children.

“We have seen children with headaches and stomachaches simply because they have not eaten at home, so we are here to attend those children who are going through these difficult times, and we feel blessed to have the opportunity to keep their weight and nutrition.”

It was a common desire within the church to strengthen the children’s nutritional lunch at the center during the global food crisis. Perhaps the biggest challenge was to purchase the material for the fish tank, which is sometimes difficult to find in Honudras.

But the church was always confident that God was going to provide the tools for this activity. They were able to obtain the fish tank material, and eventually began to set it up on the hill behind the church.

Currently, the fish tank has 2,000 fish that are being taken care of by young boys like 15-year-old Gerson.

For two months Gerson has been responsible for the fish tank, an activity he enjoys because of the benefits it will bring him and his friends at the center.

Every day he walks 2 kilometers to the site to do his job with enthusiasm and professionalism. His job is feeding the fish thre times during the day, and also activating the pump that add oxygen to the water.

“They have trained me over the handling and maintenance of this fish pond, also about agriculture and many things.”

In spite of having just two months of experience working with this fish tank, the center is starting to see the fish gain weight and size. They continue training young people how to take care of the fish pond.

In the near future, these fish will be part of the children’s daily lunch. According to Yanira,

“In six months, this cycle of fish will be ready and then we will start over with another 2,000 fish. There is a good market to sell the fish, so the fish pond can be maintained economically.

“We wish the children to learn to dream big and hope that this experience will help them to have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs.”

20 Comments |Add a comment

  1. brandon marler June 9, 2009

    a great story…love that enterprise, entrepreneurship, and sustainable living is being taught. very much of a “hand up” and not a “hand out”, similar to micro-finance.

  2. Pat D. May 30, 2009

    Thanks Chris. I will remember this link. I love my 7 kids and worry about and pray for all of them.

  3. Chris Giovagnoni May 30, 2009

    They are. 🙂

    They’re posted on our crisis updates page.

  4. Pat D. May 30, 2009

    Thanks to Chris Giovagnoni. I was worried about my boy in Honduras. I wish this type of information could be posted on Compassion’s main page when a serios event is world news.

  5. Juli Jarvis May 30, 2009

    Thank you for introducing us to these precious young people — Keila, Keren and Gerson!

  6. Leesa Favela May 29, 2009

    How about using the chicken “droppings” for fertilizer? Could they start a community garden?

  7. Vicki Small May 29, 2009

    I agree: These are great stories that show the effectiveness of Compassion’s program, not only with the children, but in bringing change, hope, better health and much more to whole communities! What’s not to love?!

  8. Valerie Long May 29, 2009

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing this wonderful story with us! It’s great to hear how it’s helping in many ways from providing food to providing a small income for the centers to providing the students with jobs where they can SEE that what they’re doing is important and helping. 🙂

    Praise God!

  9. Brittany May 29, 2009

    I think this is one of my favorite posts!

    These kids are learning at such a young age that they ARE capable of so much…even taking care of other living creatures! They CAN do anything they set their minds to! They CAN survive!

  10. Cheri May 29, 2009

    Thanks for the quick update on the status of the Compassion projects in Honduras after the Earthquake.

  11. Sara Benson May 29, 2009

    This is great to hear that with help from the CIV, projects are finding ways to develop long term and self supporting strategies for feeding their kids. And also that the kids are the ones who are trained to take care of the projects.

    I agree with Cheryl that it would be nice to be able to find out which of our children’s projects are struggling more than the others.

    Maybe this could even be one of the next spotlights of the month. We could donate money for a specific church to start a food/income generating project like this.

  12. Chris Giovagnoni May 29, 2009

    @Cheri – No child development centers or Compassion-assisted children were affected by yesterday’s earthquake in Honduras.

  13. Cheri May 29, 2009

    Loved reading about these projects. I sponsor a child in Siguatepeque but not at this particular project. I was able to visit him last year and this brought back memories of the visit. With the recent Earthquake in Honduras hopefully there can be a blog post in the future letting us know if the Compassion projects are okay. Praying for our Compassion children and families but especially now with this Earthquake.

  14. Stephanie G May 29, 2009

    A very encouraging story and a good lesson in stewardship, too. So glad to see the project children involved in helping their communities in these ways.

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Tom Easterday May 29, 2009

    This is a great story. Not only will these activities provide a source of nutrition for the children and income for the centers, but it will also provide the satisfaction that goes with being, at least partially, self sufficient.

  16. Amy Wallace May 29, 2009

    I think it’s great how they are including the children at the centre to help with the eggs and fish.

  17. Cheryl J May 29, 2009

    I understand that we can give a financial gift to our child’s project. Is there anyway to know which of them have these types of ideas in the planning stages just waiting for the funding? I guess my question is, if we have children in a number of different projects, is there anyway to find out which ones could use it the most to make a long-term difference? I am sure some projects are in a little better shape than others as far as feeding the kids, etc.

  18. compasion dave May 29, 2009

    In agreement with Chuck–innovative stuff! Thank you Lord.

  19. Sarah Charles May 29, 2009

    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat everyday!


  20. Chuck Guth May 29, 2009

    This is awesome. What a great way to give hope, fight the food crisis and to teach skills.

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