Development: A Witness

Last April, while a group from Calgary were helping us construct a new school in Mocohan, accross the field a group of seniors from a Vancouver public high school were inaugurating a project they had spent 5 days working on. Their project was a communal chicken coop for women of the community to raise chickens in and to produce eggs. They had fundraised $4000 or $5000 (I don't remember exactly, might have been more) for this project. The two social studies teachers who led the trip had made similar trips to Central America for the past 15 years of so.

We asked Erick what he thought of the communal chicken coop. He said it was a really nice chicken coop. When he asked how much they raised, he was shocked saying it shouldn't have cost more than 2000. Then we told him it was dollars and he was really shocked.*

Nearly everyone in Mocohan has chickens. They run loose in the yard and lay eggs which are collected. Chicks are bought in the market for Q1* and raised and then sold for Q20. There really is no need for a chicken coop.

Since that time, I have not seen one chicken in that coop - and I go to Mocohan often. This is what it looks like on the inside. So, I wonder where the money went...

Last Saturday, I drove Pastor Alfonso and Brother Ovidio to Parrachoch. Mariah and her father, Richard, tagged along for the bumpy ride. There is no electricity in Parrachoch and so when a woman from Stony Plain who was here last summer asked if we could use solar panels from Light up the World, we said "sure!"

Alfonso is a pastor after having taken 8 courses in a nearby town. He earns an income by walking 2 1/2 hours each way to Mocohan to work on the same school I mentioned earlier. He does this to feed his 12 member family. By the time he arrives home in the evening, it's dark. Right dark as they would say in Nova Scotia.

Ovidio hooked everything up in about 90 minutes. The panel now sits atop a pole at an angle of 15° pointed due south charging a battery that is connected to two small bulbs in two different rooms of Alfonso's pad.


1 comment:

Sirdar said...

Oh how we take things for granted. Sad about the chicken coop. I guess they had good intentions....but not a lot of knowledge about their target.