By GALEN HAWES
ADA – Using live poultry as a currency of sorts, East Central University Business students are helping bring purpose and pride to villages halfway around the world.
ECU students are working through the entrepreneurial and philanthropic organization Enactus to finance the purchase of 7,700 chickens for 77 Ugandan villages. A donation of $100 can provide 100 chickens for a village. The goal is to provide the tools and support necessary to help promote financial literacy, self-sufficiency and sustainability. For example, a flock of 100 hens can lay over 20,000 eggs per year.
“We want to help by giving them the feeling of being responsible for raising these chickens and encourage them by showing them that they have a purpose and can create a sustainable protein-based food source,” said Wendell Godwin, dean of ECU’s Stonecipher School of Business.
ECU participates in the Enactus organization as an academic partner, along with many other universities around the globe. The ECU student team is led by faculty advisor Dr. Germain Pichop.
According to the organization’s website, Enactus is the “world’s largest experiential learning platform, dedicated to creating a better world by developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators.”
ECU’s Wilburn L. Smith Center for Entrepreneurship allows students to study that particular area of business, an interest which goes hand-in-hand – or perhaps, in this case, hand in wing – with Enactus on this unique project.
ECU’s involvement began with the U.S./Africa Business Week in August 2019, which was led by Godwin, fellow professor Dr. Stacey Bolin, and alumni Richard Kirabira and Charles Mugabi of Uganda. Bolin is the director of the Wilburn L. Smith Center for Entrepreneurship.
The initial project stage was completed in December 2020 when the first group of chicks were delivered to Uganda from a hatchery in Kenya. While they are at Kirabira’s farm in Uganda, the chicks are fed, vaccinated and cared for during their first 30-40 days.
The second stage of the project involved ECU Business students and faculty raising money to deliver a second set of chicks to Uganda last month. Stage Three includes helping to purchase incubators so villages can hatch eggs and propagate the business model moving forward.
“Uganda is our current focus, although we have other countries interested in being involved with the program,” said Godwin. “We greatly appreciate all donors and will continue to be grateful for any donations that can be made to this worthwhile program.”
To participate in this project via donation or to learn more about it, please contact the ECU Stonecipher School of Business at 580-559-5274.
Cutline: ECU alumnus Richard Kirabira shows progress on the exciting financial literacy project in Uganda, which features the direct participation of ECU Business students. (ECU)