Epilepsy Association of Zambia
Project: Poultry Rearing -income generating venture
Definition: To rear chickens for sale in order to assist people with epilepsy to learn how they can sustain themselves and also to raise money to run the epilepsy programme in Zambia.
Epilepsy Association of Zambia has been in existence since 2001; the associations main objective is to improve the quality of life for people with epilepsy. Since inception we have been instrumental in providing correct information about epilepsy, giving updated training in epilepsy to health professionals and act as an advocacy body for our members whenever they meet discriminatory situations. The Association comprises of medical and non-medical professionals and we currently have 125 members.
The chicken rearing project will improve the living standards of people with epilepsy who are unemployed and inactive in society. Through this project some people living with epilepsy, including their families, will be given perhaps for the first time in their lives a unique opportunity to learn a skill which will make them self reliant in future.
In collaboration with Cheshire Home Community Based Rehabilitation Programme in Zambia, we look after and dispense anti-epileptic drugs to an average of 195 people with epilepsy each month. Most of these clients are not in any gainful employment. We therefore hope to introduce the project to this group of people instead of just providing them with medication.
The project will be implemented within a community so as to gain support from the members of the community by buying the chickens reared by people living with epilepsy.
The project will select a small number of innovative people with epilepsy who are currently not active in the community. The project will be run in phases with a selection of a small group of 30 people with epilepsy in the first phase. A short training workshop will be conducted for the beneficiaries with the help of trained poultry instructors who have already been identified.
The objectives for the project are as follows:
- To train people with epilepsy in poultry rearing in order to equip them with a skill.
- To raise money through the chicken rearing project for specific needs of people with epilepsy such as provision of free medication or assistance with meeting school fees.
- To provide means of employment for people with epilepsy so as to reduce dependence on their families.
The effectiveness of the programme will be measured by:
- Keeping a record of expenses and sales of reared chickens. A record of the transactions will help greatly in assessing the progress of the project.
- Providing regular supervision at the poultry site. Supervision is important in such projects as it fosters teamwork and moral support.
- Requesting reports from those who get loans from the project after the first phase.
- Designing an evaluation form to get response from the participants.
Cheshire Home Community Based Rehabilitation Programme of Zambia will partner us in the programme. The CBR programme is funded by Christian Blind Mission of Germany and has community rehabilitation workers who have already been instrumental in identifying people with epilepsy their catchment area of 8 low income populated compounds in the northern part of Zambia.
The programme will continue beyond funding from IBE through a revolving fund programme. As we intend to give loans to those trained in the first phase to continue with personal project then as they pay back their loans the money will be used to assist the next group.
We also have a constant project of printing yearly calendars with paid advertisements from pharmaceutical companies. Through sales of the calendars are able to raise equivalent to US$2,600 each year. We will consider using some of that money to sustain the programme.