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How to fight poverty with chickens

Chicken-farming brings hope to a single mother.

Chicken breeding income generation India

How do you fight poverty with chickens? Dim Khawm Niagi knows how.

When Dim Khawm Niagi was seven months pregnant with her second child, her husband abandoned her and their children. Determined to do her best to provide, Dim Khawm Niagi went to work. But as a single mother in India, job options were limited. She sold milk at sunrise before heading to the local kiln to load bricks into trucks for 12 hours. For all of this, she earned the equivalent of £1 a day.

Imagine if you worked 12 hours and got paid a pound. Imagine if that pound had to take care of yourself and two children.

But there was hope. Her four-year-old son, Lian, was enrolled in the local Compassion project and got sponsored. Mungpi, the project director, found out about Dim Khawm Niagi’s situation and was determined to improve their living situation. He applied for funding from Compassion’s RESPOND which amongst other things, helps people in poverty to set up their own businesses in order to generate a self-sustaining source of income.

For her business, Dim Khawm Niagi chose chicken farming. She received 50 chicks and enough chicken feed to last three months to start her farm. “I received training to take care of the poultry farm, how to feed the chickens, how to clean the shed and how to keep the temperature inside the farm warm for the chicks to grow properly,” she says. She was also taught skills to sustain the business including customer acquisition.

Chicken farming in India

8-year-old Lian loves helping out with the chickens.


Inside Dim Khawm Niagi's chicken coup.

After just six months, Dim Khawm Niagi sold her first flock of chickens for a profit which she reinvested back in her business. Since then, she has reared and sold another four flocks of chickens which have given her a substantial profit whilst keeping 30 chickens for future breeding. As a result, she has been able to pay back all her debts, enrol her daughter into secondary school, support her family and reinvest back into her business.

By helping Dim Khawm Niagi open a chicken farm through RESPOND, the life of her and her family has been changed. “I have quit my previous work; I feel happy being able to stay at home, give more time to my children and take care of my aging mother,” she says. “I am thankful to Compassion for the poultry farm because it has enabled me to raise a capital to start additional businesses to support my family. I feel confident now as we don’t have to borrow money from our neighbours anymore.”

That’s how you fight poverty with chickens.

WORDS : Roz Walsh

PHOTOS : Provashish Dutta

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