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Empowering through education

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Poultry Raising / Chicken Coop Construction...

The students learned how raising chickens would benefit them and their peers at Heritage Academy. 

The objective of the program I created when I arrived in Ghana was to teach a class of 10th graders the importance and benefits of raising a flock of chickens at the school. The concept was foreign to them, as they already have chickens in Ghana. It was important to make the point that the chickens they have running freely were of no true worth to them nutritionally. After a couple of classes they started buying in to the concept. Next, we needed to start construction of the chicken coop and pen. The students and I would meet every morning to discuss what needed to be done each day. We would do some construction work until the students’ first class. We had our poultry raising class every afternoon and, at completion of the school day, we would meet and continue the construction. I thought it was very important to have them do the construction as a learning experience and further educate them on proper building techniques. During my six weeks in Ghana, I was able to impart to the students the importance of properly raising and caring for a self-sustaining flock of chickens. I was also able to teach them how the two sources of protein, eggs and meat, that they so desperately need in their diet would benefit them and the other students. And, the students were able to build a secure chicken coop and pen with mostly local materials and proper construction practices. All of this knowledge could help their villages in the future.

This was such a successful and gratifying experience that shortly after returning home, I started Black Star Education Foundation in January of 2016 and it is a recognized 501c3 tax deductible organization through the IRS. Since the inception of Black Star Education Foundation, our focus has been improving the lives of these wonderful people through education. We see our first step in education as being in the field of agriculture. If we can teach people how to successfully raise farm animals, plant vegetable gardens, and grow fruits, then they will be able to alleviate a very common food shortage issue within their family and their village. Self-sufficiency in agriculture will, in turn, create a change in their socioeconomic situation. Once they have a commodity, they have the means to barter or sell their goods to acquire items of need such as clothing, medical care, and transportation.

The pictures tell a very exciting story of how you helped to make a significant difference in these school children's lives. Your support made this possible; it purchased lumber, concrete, nails, chicken wire, feed, and a flock of chicks. The flock is now successfully laying and those eggs are going into the school lunch for much needed protein in students’ diet.