Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rabbit project helps man fend for family

Stefano Amosi was ecstatic
when he was selected by his
area village development
committee to be one of the
beneficiaries of a rabbit pass over
project supported by Concern.
Stefano, a father of four,
could not contain his happiness
on the prospect of venturing into
rabbit farming. But many people
around Stefano’s village down
played the impact of such a
“What difference would two
rabbits make in the life of a man
who has known nothing but
poverty and misfortune,” they
would say, recalls Stefano.
“When I went to receive the
rabbits, I just did it for formality
sake. All my hopes were dashed by
the negative things my neighbours
were saying about the rabbit
project. I started believing more
in them than in what I could
achieve from the project,”
Stefano mused.
But circumstances forced him
to make the most out of the
Earlier in the year, Stefano,
who comes from Chikanga village
in Lilongwe, was struck by double
tragedy. His maize crop withered
as rains abruptly stopped during
the flowering stages. Within a
space of a few months, his sister
died leaving behind three
children. As the only living uncle,
Stefano was obligated to shoulder
responsibility of their up keep.
“I had no food, no money or
anything to give to my now larger
family. I knew being given the
rabbits was an act of God. He
gave me something small so that I
should think big,” he said.
“I followed all the instruction
on rabbits farming and within a
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L i v e l i h o o d s
few months,” said Stefano, “the
rabbits gave birth. When the
rabbits came of age I sold some
and from the proceeds I managed
to get money to buy things like
soap and maize meal on the
market to feed my family.”
Stefano also saw an opportunity
to start a vegetable garden which
he fertilised using the rabbits’
droppings as manure.
“One small idea led to
another,” he says. “Never before
had I dreamed of gardening, but
now I have one. I use some of the
vegetables to feed my rabbits,
some I use for food and the rest I
From the income, Stefano has
managed to buy ten chickens. “I
have all the hope that in the
future I will expand my livestock
production. I am thinking of
buying goats or even a cow,” he
Currently, he has eleven
rabbits and says he wants to
extend the kraal as some are
“Those neighbours who were
discouraging me are now the ones
coming to me for advice on how
to start a rabbit project. They
can see that my life has changed
for the better. I now can afford to
send my children to school and
remain with extra money to buy
food,” explains Stefano.
The rabbit pass over project is
being implemented by a local
partner,Hope for the Heart
Missions, with financial support
from Concern Worldwide. The
project aims to improve the lives
of the extreme poor households
in Lilongwe by providing them
with a source of livelihood.
Currently, 50 households are
benefiting from the programme
and Stefano is one of them.

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