Most experts agree that one in nine people go to bed hungry every night and that hunger and malnutrition pose special challenges for children. A child who is chronically hungry can not thrive physically or intellectually and may suffer from serious long-term health issues.
Our team working in Masatepe, Nicaragua, saw that most of the over 1000 preschoolers in town were not getting adequate nutrition, calories, or the protein they needed to thrive.
Because research shows that animal protein plays a critical role in the healthy development of preschoolers, they began looking for a solution.
In 2015, we began working with the organization OneEgg to establish a chicken farm that could produce enough eggs to address the protein deficit children face in Masatepe. By the end of the first year, enough eggs were donated each day to feed 250 preschoolers from three schools. Just one egg a day is having a profound impact on these children.
Teachers testify that children eating just one egg has improved attendance and attention. Parents are working harder to make sure their children attend school where they’ll receive a healthy, balanced breakfast. Additionally, now with their bellies full and content, the children are paying better attention to the lessons without fighting headaches and stomachaches due to nutritional deficits.
When these eggs are delivered to the school, smiling little faces surround the truck as crates of brown eggs are unloaded.
What a difference an egg in the hands of a child has made!
Though there have been challenges along the way, such as losing hundreds of chickens to illness, we have continued to see the long lasting benefit of this program and have pressed forward to make the program a reality for these children. By the end of 2017, we had built a large chicken coop on the property of Luke’s Inn where we introduced a flock of 800 chickens.
The first five weeks of a chicks life are incredibly delicate but miraculously we did not lose one chick. These 800 chickens are the key to coming alongside this community in a sustainable way that will make a significant impact, not only now but for years to come.
As we look ahead to the future, our goal is to provide eggs for all 1000+ preschool children in schools of Masatepe. The ripple effect that providing one egg for each of these children has already had, plus the potential to expand that impact to more kids, is incredibly exciting to both our staff and the local community, who together strive to see that the transformative effects that it will have in these kids lives will go on well into the future.