The Mbewa Chicken Project was set up in 2005 with help from Mike and friends for the initial purchase of chickens.
The Chief made land available for constructing the chicken barn for sheltering the chickens, which was built by village members.
Initially the project worked well, with 250 chickens raised from chicks, purchased from nearby Limbe, and made a net profit of MK 20,000 with a total outlay of MK 34,750 for chicks, transport and feed.
Some of the profit was used to buy new birds and some was used to help a few of the many AIDS orphans in the village with clothing and school fees. However, in subsequent cycles, older birds were bought as the chicks were very susceptible to disease. These were more expensive and costs of vaccines to prevent disease and pesticides against parasites made it difficult to make a profit.
The most recent batch of 70 chickens has been moved to another location to try to escape illness and the project is under review. Here they are pictured in a photo with the September 2009 report, shortly before being sold.
The possibility of keeping chickens for eggs, possibly by individual families who pool their eggs for market, is being discussed.
The Mbewa Self-Help Project (UK) raises funds for projects in Mbewa Village, Malawi.