Photo: Girls from our girls home are happy to take part in collecting eggs from the hen house project.
We are happy to report that we harvested 450 coconuts from our farmland enterprise in February, which gave us a profit of $43 at market. While it may not seem like much, in the local economy that’s the equivalent of about a week’s wages. Our coconut grove contains 85 mature coconut trees, but we have 115 coconut trees total, including 30 new coconut trees which we planted in 2016 — the new coconut trees will mature in 6-7 years. The younger coconuts are used in the children’s diets — after the nuts are opened, the soft sweet meat is delicious to eat, and the juice is refreshing and hydrating.
In addition, our banana grove continues to flourish with 128 trees which are harvested weekly — our most recent harvest in March yielded 500 bananas from which we expect to make a profit of approximately $36 at market. Our profits from banana sales quickly add up since we harvest bananas every week. Also, this nutritional staple in our children’s diets provides them with a good source of potassium as well as other nutrients such as magnesium, folate, vitamins A and C, and dietary fiber.
We are also happy to report that our hen house project continues to operate successfully, an integral part of our farmland enterprise. We currently have 219 hens and egg production is at optimal levels — our hens are currently laying an average of 160-180 eggs per day (which are sold for about $23). There is such a high demand for fresh eggs from local neighbors that our native team has been selling them on a wait listed basis directly to the consumers every day. In addition, we have 3 piglets living in our piggery which we expect to yield a good profit from after they mature and we sell them at market.
We recently harvested 500 fish (weighing 183 pounds) from the large pond at our fishery. On-demand sales continue to yield steady profits from this program, which is a positive result of making a change to our sales plan. Instead of doing mass harvests to sell at market, we are now selling smaller harvests on demand to families and smaller vendors. However, our fishery has suffered some damages in that the small secondary pond structure has many cracks — thus, there are no fish in the small pond at this time. We are seeking to raise $425 to purchase sand, cement, and a water-proofing chemical in order to repair the small pond structure and get our fishery back up and running at its full potential. Along with your generous support, our farmland projects will help with some of our funding challenges, providing more profits to help at-risk children and orphans succeed in school.
In other good news, our Girls Home students completed the school year in April with great success. Two of the girls graduated with honors along with awards for good attendance and athletics — they will now continue their education in college ensuring their successful, hopeful future. Two of the other girls completed the semester with awards as well and will be in their senior year of high school when the next semester begins.
We recently had a security incident on our campus — our field director reports: “Someone threw some stones at our house and we didn’t know who it was or what their intentions were to us. Then a few moments later my nephew came to our house and he was very scared because someone tried to hurt him with a knife at the dark side of our road. Lucky for him that he was not hurt by the knife though he got some scratches on his face. This happened because we have no security lights on our road, and every time we pass from the road to the house on our long driveway, it’s so dark. He’s okay now but he experienced trauma because this happened to him.”
Thus, we want to share our urgent need to install security lighting down the main driveway leading to and from our main campus. The main driveway approaching our campus is very dark and we feel it is dangerous for our children when leaving to walk home from the after school care program. So to avoid any more incidents in the future, we are seeking to raise $1,875 to purchase 10 outdoor lamps, 20 metal pipes, 8 rolls of wire, 40 plastic PVC pipes, 10 junction boxes, and 3 gallons of red paint to create the lighting system.
Take a Closer Look: view more photos from this project and others