Bill and Melinda Gates donated 100,000 chickens to African families who live on less than $2 a day.
When you live on less than $2 day, as is the case for approximately 2.8 billion people on the planet, having a chicken to raise and obtain eggs from can dramatically improve your quality of life. That’s why Bill and Melinda Gates, two philanthropic visionaries, decided to donate 100,000 chickens to families and individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, a location rife with poverty.
The two were inspired to donate hundreds of thousands of chickens because the birds can be incredibly valuable to poverty-stricken families. In fact, breeding chickens not only keeps children healthy, they reportedly raise standards by thirty percent by boosting incomes from $700 annually to $1,000 per year.
On June 7, Bill explained his reasoning in a blog post:
“It’s pretty clear to me that just about anyone who’s living in extreme poverty is better off if they have chickens.”
At the same time of the generous contribution, the Gates’ foundation launched a partnership with Heifer International to create a sustainable market system in the region for poultry. It is their goal to ensure that the birds families receive have been properly vaccinated and are well-suited to the local growing conditions.
While it will take a while to improve Africans’ self-sufficiency status, the Gates ultimately hope to help 30% of the rural families in sub-Saharan Africa raise improved breeds of healthy chickens. To give you some insight on that ambitious goal, only 5% of chickens meet that standard at present.
“It has been eye-opening for me to learn what a difference they can make in the fight against poverty,” wrote Gates.
The initiative has the potential to help hundreds of thousands of people live better, healthier lives.
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