Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Chickens for Peace

Project #
Oberlin College
  • Bikalpa Baniya

Chickens for Peace

At Maya Universe Academy, Nepal’s first free private school, more than 400 young people from low-income backgrounds are getting an education thanks in part to their parents, who donate two days of labor each week at the school’s rural home. To generate more income, the academy has begun raising chickens. Bikalpa Baniya’s project expanded that effort by providing more parents with chicken coops, chickens and supplies.

Parents receive compensation for their work, along with the schooling for their children. “The chickens are then sold to restaurants and businesses in nearby towns and big cities like Kathmandu,” Bikalpa writes. “The profits then go back to the school.”

His project overcame various challenges along the way, from the unexpected paving of the road leading to the school, which delayed delivery of construction materials, to the difficulty of finding skilled laborers, such as welders, to build the coops.

“Despite all these difficulties we could build all the coops, place the chicks, and increase the chicken production from 300 to 1,000 chickens per month,” Bikalpa writes. “This is a big boost to greater self-sustainability for Maya Universe Academy.” The extra income, he says, will enable the school to hire more teachers, expand its hostel for housing students, build more classrooms, and attract more students.

“The long-term goal is to have production up to 5,000 chickens per month,” Bikalpa adds. Supporting the school on that scale will help it, he adds, in “forming a model that can be replicated all over Nepal.”