In September 2019, my husband and I were able to visit the Sabbath Egg sustainability project and THIU construction site. At that time, the Sabbath Egg building was just a shell of a structure with a plan and hope to become something more. With no doors or roof, only 4 brick walls, piles of lava rocks and weeds for a floor, it took some imagination and careful stepping to envision what it would become.
On our approach to the property, our drivers slowly navigated down a long, VERY rough road. With each house we passed a gathering of children from the surrounding community began to trail behind us excited to see the visiting Americans. Approximately 35 children, some were timid and some were yelling in Kinyarwanda, but all were intrigued by our presence and especially the large cameras we carried. Others in our group played ball with them, sang with them, gave high fives and, of course, they loved to have their portrait photographed.
Felistus, the Sabbath Egg Project manager, explained the vision for the undertaking, and the hopes for the impact it will have. The chickens would provide sustainability for both the Rwanda office administrative budget and nutritional improvement for the very children that were following us around. The eggs (and a few chickens) would be sold in the local market as a financial resource for the TLAfrica Rwanda office. Almost all of the children in the surrounding neighborhood suffer from some level of malnutrition. On the Sabbath of every week, eggs would be given to these families to help nourish them, but also to establish a mutual relationship with them, creating a sense of ownership and protection for the building and the chickens.
It is astonishing to see how far the project has come since we were there in September! In the video below, Felistus provides an update on the progress of the building project. With only an additional $500 more, they will be able to purchase the chickens and begin full production!