This morning we met Joyce.   Joyce is a poultry producer and currently has a clutch of 300 chicks.   Thanks to the training and support she has received from The Gatsby Trust next week she will double that with another 400 and be able to use the new building she has built behind her house.

Joyce now knows how to spot signs of disease in her chicks and has a completely healthy clutch.   Obviously a sick chick is, sadly, worthless, and could infect the whole group.   So she is rightly proud that she can spot the signs and now provide support and advice to other producers in the area.  We joked that we would be telling our friends at home who keep chickens to give her a ring!

It is really interesting that The Gatsby Trust work very differently from the trusts we met in Ghana in that they don’t provide loans, they provide support and training.  And only to individuals who already have already had a business for two years.   They have shown that by helping the women with this support and training they become better business women, and have a more powerful voice.    For instance if Joyce wanted to supply the chicks to the supermarket she could not guarantee a supply, but by networking with other women they are able to do that together.   And to fix pricing too so they get a fair price for them.

The sums needed for Joyce to start her business, in our terms, are very small.  A chick costs just 50p to buy at a week old, and when they are fully grown Joyce can sell them for £2.50.

Sport Relief has funded projects to support more than 13,900 small scale enterprises to increase their profits. 

It was so inspiring to see Joyce as one of those people.   And to hear her talk of her plans to expand.

On a personal level Joyce is able to work from home as the chicks are not terribly labour intensive, so once they have been fed and watered twice a day Joyce is free to spend time with her family.   And the profit she is making is allowing her to send her three children to school.

Women work two thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half of the world’s food, but earn only 10% of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property.

By visiting projects such as this we can see how #lastingchange is really making a difference to those statistics.

Oh and then we came home and did this.  I make every apology known to man for this but it sort of got the point across, I think:

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  • How wonderful that such small changes (such as teaching someone how to spot signs of disease) can have such a massive effect on the success of their business and, in turn, they whole life by making it more manageable and sustainable. Thanks so much for sharing – Joyce has every right to feel proud of her achievements!

  • I am in awe at how Joyce and the other women have expanded their businesses so dramatically with support.

  • It’s fabulous that The Gatsby Trust is providing support and training for women like Joyce. Sounds as though #lastingchange is already well established.

  • I love that she is able to help her family, spend time with them and hopefully give them the future they deserve thus breaking the cycle, amazing x