During 2018 the Scott Bader Commonwealth awarded a £2000 grant to Shivia, a UK charity working in West Bengal, one of India’s poorest and most populated areas.
Shivia chose to use the grant for their Poultry Development Services (PDS) providing poultry toolkits to families enabling them to earn an income from raising chickens. The grant from the Scott Bader Commonwealth meant that 188 poultry toolkits could be donated to beneficiaries in Krishnagar, a very poor rural area and the latest PDS programme location. A poultry toolkit from Shivia includes 10 chicks, chick feed, vaccines, training and mentoring for six months from a Livelihood Service Provider.
The key benefits of the PDS programme are:
- The sale of eggs and birds from 3 toolkits means a 30% increase in household income for a family living below the poverty line in rural West Bengal.
- Women are often the beneficiaries of the toolkits and become empowered by the ability to earn money for their families.
- Children benefit from better access to education as there is money to pay for school uniform, books and some private tuition to compensate for poor quality education.
- Family diet is healthier – chicken and eggs are a great source of protein.
- There is a reduced level of debt as families are able to meet basic household expenses.
- In some cases the profit earned can be used to fund a second business e.g. buying a second-hand sewing machine to start a tailoring service.
Victoria Denison is the UK Operations Manager for Shivia. Asked about the success of PDS she explains:
“We successfully launched PDS in our fifth location, Krishnagar in May 2018. The programme is running well and within budget. Our field team of five Livelihood Service Providers and the Field Supervisors work well together. At the time of writing this they have registered 500 people onto PDS and delivered 900 poultry toolkits in Krishnagar.”
Shivia have produced a film demonstrating the great work they do and the positive difference it has on communities in West Bengal.