Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to see the impact of the our programmes in the West Bank. One particuarily interesting programme we visited was a poultry farm that was developed with World Vision's support in the Tura Ash Sharqiyya community in the West Bank's Area C.
The poultry farm we visited is located in a community near a separation wall that divides the West Bank from territory claimed by Israel. The wall has created difficulties for the people of Tura Ash Sharqiyya, who are now unable to access a nearby forest that used to provide resources for the village. The farm is a bright spot for local residents, who are justifiably proud of what they’ve accomplished with World Vision’s support.
“By God's grace, the work in the poultry farm has gone really well”
Mahmoud, the head of the 50-family cooperative (and former mayor of the village) met us at the poultry farm. He and other members of the farm’s management committee were elected by the members to handle the day-to-day operations of the facilities. They are assisted by a full-time worker and an accountant who handles financial matters.
“By God's grace, the work in the poultry farm has gone really well,” he tells us. “Ninety-six per cent of the chickens are producing eggs, which is quite a high percentage compared to the average of other similar farms in the area.”
“We sell the eggs at the local wholesale market at an average price of $3.50 (U.S.) for 30 eggs and we are happy with that price,” he added.
"The World Vision staff are very hard workers and very dedicated"
He explained that income generated by the sale of eggs has been pooled together by co-operative members and is being used to extend the business by purchasing more chickens and expanding the farm’s facilities. In the future, toe cooperative also plans for profits to put towards community development projects as well.
"Once we have completed our expansion, we will start using the income for the education of our children as our top priority and of course to meet other basic needs,” Mahmoud says, noting that the group has spent considerable time discussing how to provide additional employment opportunities in their community.
Profits made possible through partnership
Mahmoud and other members of the cooperative have words of praise for World Vision’s commitment to planning, design and regular assessment of the success of the program. "The World Vision staff are very hard workers and very dedicated," he says. “The partnership spirit and the participation of the community are the key to our success. We hope to keep this partnership up and running until this community is self-sustaining,” he adds.