Over the years, Food for the Poor has been making a positive impact on the lives of many Guyanese in various areas vital to their development and existence.
While they have impacted greatly in the area of improving housing for the disabled, poverty stricken, underprivileged and needy, they have also assisted greatly in improving the appearances and facilities of several schools in and around the city.
Last year September, the entity, in a joint initiative with the Guyana Prison Service, embarked on establishing the New Amsterdam Prison Poultry Project, which costs some $3.5M.
The project involved the construction of a 100ft X 30ft chicken coop and the rearing of 3000 broilers at the New Amsterdam Prison. The aim behind this venture was to equip the inmates of the New Amsterdam Prison with a skill while maintaining the dietary needs of the prison.
The initial stages of construction began last year October and concluded in December. Last January, the first batch of 1,000 chicks was installed into the coop, and a total of three batches of chicks were reared between January and August, 2008. A total of 5454 kilograms of meat was garnered from the project, all of which was purchased by the Guyana Prison Service.
The meat was purchased at below-market price, and all the profits will go directly towards the development of the New Amsterdam Prison.
Nine inmates were involved in the rearing of the 3000 broiler chicks (three inmates per batch). All nine inmates were trained in poultry and finance management, and according to Food for the Poor sources, have all been paid a small stipend for their contribution to the project.
Food for the Poor also spearheaded the Lusignan Prison Project which was evaluated at some $900,000.
This project involved the construction of an 80ft X 40ft barbed wire fence for the cultivation of fruits and vegetables at the Lusignan Prison.
The project was geared at strengthening the prison’s self-sufficiency programme while at the same time enriching the diets of the inmates. It also provided the inmates with an opportunity to become skilled in plant husbandry management.
The project started in June 2007, and to date the prison has reaped in excess of 1800 kg of pumpkins, 200 lbs of cucumbers, 800 lbs of bora and sweet potatoes.
The NOC Agriculture Expansion Project, which cost $3.7 million, was also another venture undertaken by the entity, in collaboration with the New Opportunity Corps.
It involved the expansion of the institution’s self-sufficiency programme, which included the NOC Swine, Poultry and Vegetable Expansion projects.
The Swine Expansion Project includes the renovation of the two housing units and the procurement of replacement stock (two gilts and a boar). To date, work has been completed on one of the housing units, and work is ongoing on the other.
The Poultry Expansion Project, on the other hand, dealt with the renovation of the poultry coop and the procurement of replacement stock (800 broiler chicks plus feed). Work on the coop has been completed, and the rearing of the second batch of 200 chicks is underway.
The Vegetable Expansion Project includes the construction of fence to secure five acres of farmland for the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. That fence has been completed. Prior to the expansion, the institution had only two acres of land under cultivation.
Another venture worthy of mention is the Bethany Poultry Project (valued at G$1.6 million), which started last March.
The project was aimed at reducing the unemployment rate among women in the area. Bethany is located in the Supenaam Creek, Region Two, and is plagued by a massive unemployment crisis, particularly among women, many of whom have no marketable skill.
This project was also set to reduce the unemployment rate and provide the women with a skill (poultry management).
The project is managed by a committee consisting of five women who are involved the construction of a coop and the rearing of 1000 broiler chicks. To date, the coop has been completed and the first batch of chicks is being reared.
Through the efforts of Food for the Poor, the village of Bethany also benefited from the construction of 25 homes this year.
(The area has some 70 households) The village is also an honorary member of Food for the Poor (Guyana) Inc. and receives foodstuff, clothing, toiletries and other items twice or more per month.
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