Why pigs?

Raising pigs was chosen as a micro-business because pigs are common in Southern Uganda and able to be fed primarily from "table scraps."  Also the pig's waste products can be used as fertilizer to help produce more abundant crops. In addition pigs can produce 8-15 piglets per litter, can have 2-3 litters a year, and mature in six months after which they can be bred or sold supporting the strong market for pork in Uganda.  Although many recipients will be able to feed their pigs on sweet potato leaves and banana peels, the poorest of the poor will not have an adequate food supply so we are also offering supplemental feed.

What about goats or chickens?

EYN also considered goats and chickens, however, goats are much more challenging to feed in that area, mature more slowly and there is not the same market for goat products as there is for pork.  Chickens mature quickly and there is a good market, however chicken coop construction is more costly than pigsty construction and chicken coops are necessary due to the many predators in the area.  In addition the markup on adult pigs is significantly more than on chickens.

Are pigsties necessary? Why are they so expensive?

EYN decided to offer pigsty construction because pigs can be fed, and their waste collected, much more efficiently if the animals are housed in a structure with a brick or cement floor. When pigs are housed in pigsties fewer resources are consumed to provide the same amount of capital when the pigs are sold. A well-built and functional pigsty is necessary for a long-term, sustainable pig farming business. Pigsties will be built, and materials sourced, by local suppliers – most of the construction cost is to build the brick or cement floor.

Why Southern Uganda?

Uganda is one of the poorest nations in the world, with 37.7% of the population living on less than $1.25 a day.  Poverty remains deep-rooted in the country's rural areas, which are home to more than 85% of Ugandans who depend on farming as their main source of income.  90% of all rural women work in the agricultural sector.  To supplement their income, some engage in small-scale entrepreneurial activities such as rearing and selling local breeds of animals, however very few have the capital necessary for the initial investment. EYN co-founder Sr. Maria Nassali was born and raised in Southern Uganda.

How do you choose women for your program?

EYN recipient women and families will be chosen by the Daughters of Mary Sisters in the area in conjunction with a village Chairman who is intimately familiar with the families in his/her village.  The Sisters will interview the poorest of the poor to collect their stories, pictures and a survey of their current economic status. EYN will follow up with each family periodically and post updates.

Who are the Daughters of Mary?

The Daughters of Mary (Munnabikira) Sisters are a Catholic order of indigenous African women, founded in 1910 and located at the Bannabikira Convent in Masaka, Uganda. Munnabikira Sisters are endowed with the spirit of Motherhood which is fundamental in their four major ministries of education, health care, social development and catechesis.  From their website, they "strive to uplift the life of the marginalized groups in society and to empower both young and old to achieve self sustainability in order to face the many challenges of the modern world positively."

Is EYN a Catholic organization?

Although we gratefully partner with the Daughter's of Mary, EYN is not a religious organization and does not discriminate based on religion, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, language, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age or political conviction.