Kuku wa Dan

Since October 2014, Starfish Productions has been working with a Kenyan entrepreneur, Dan, on a microfinancing project. We are extremely excited about this new adventure and invite you to come along for the ride.

The motivation  for this work comes from the old adage: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime! Using a small loan, Dan bought 250 chicks with the goal of raising them to their full size and selling them to neighbours, local restaurants, and (eventually) to larger supermarkets. In time, Dan hopes to use his savings to pay back the loan and to create a second chicken coup to double his profits.

The Vision:  To make a sustainable difference in the community by running a prosperous and socially responsible chicken farm

 

Chicken Farming 101

 

Chicks Come Home
Chicks Come Home

The chicks are bought from a farmer at 1 day old and put into our chicken coup. It is important that there is a constant source of heat and food.For the first two weeks, the water is mixed with vitamins and minerals and the chicks are fed special food to promote healthy growth. During their first month, the chicks are given two vaccines to keep them safe from common poultry diseases!
 Youth
Chicks Become Adults

The chickens continue to grow under our constant care and supervision. On average, it takes a chick six to seven weeks to grow to full size. The minimum weight to sell a chicken is 1.3 kg. It is a lot of work to ensure their coup is clean as well as that food and water are always plentiful.There are many challenges to this work including water and electricity shortages, creating and maintaining a sustainable market, and diseases. Nevertheless, Dan continues to develop innovative solutions to overcome these challenges in order to successfully raise these chicks to full sized chickens!
Dinner Time
Dinner Time

After the chickens have reached a desired weight, it is time to find buyers. Some people prefer to buy their chickens alive so they can be sure the chicken is healthy. Others ask that we do the slaughtering. It is hard work! We are able to employ five local staff to help us with this stage, which helps to bring jobs to a neighbourhood with limited employment opportunities.
Through this work, Starfish Productions is able to be part of a meaningful change within a community that means a lot of us. Since going to Kenya in 2012, we have been deeply moved by the passion and determination of the Kenyans we met. On a personal level, Kenya helped to shape our company and forever changed Jennica’s life. It is our hope to further strengthen our connections in Kenya with a return to Eldoret in the near future.
 

The Man Behind the Vision: Daniel Mwangi

 


Dan and Sugar Cane
Being raised in Kenya has had its ups and downs. As the eldest male, it is my responsibility to take care of my family. This has taught me the importance of being resourceful and open to change. For example – finding school fees, at times, wasn’t easy. I had to do many odd jobs, but now see that these experiences have made me stronger. I am the holder of a diploma in social work and, until recent downsizing, was the Outreach Coordinator for a local organization that works with street-involved children and youth in Eldoret.Finding a decent job in Kenya is challenging. The most recent numbers estimate that national unemployment is at 40% with many others underemployed in informal (and insecure) work! (If you’re curious, check out here for more information).

 
I am excited about this chicken business because it offers me a chance to learn something new (that pays me!).In the future, it could give me the opportunity to expand my business and to help others in my community.I am a Manchester United football fan, who also enjoys playing pickup games around my neighborhood. I love talking in English, no matter how crunched it may sound. I love dancing and just might be the only Kenyan who LOVES country music (especially Don Williams!). I live for trying new things and pushing my personal boundaries – whether it be trying out new recipes from around the world or learning new things by watching documentaries. I hope to one day get to visit some of the magical places I’ve learned about, including Canada and the UK.

Asante sana,
Dan Mwangi

Want to help? Even a small donation can take Dan one step closer in making his dreams come true. Consider donating below to help Dan buy the supplies he needs for his coup (e.g. nails, steel sheets, wire, heating lamp). If you have any questions, please feel free to message us HERE.

Dan's New Chicken Coup

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