Three chickens were all it took to change a life
Several years ago, Miknos Simanga received three chickens through a Plan livelihood program in his village in Zambia. Through the program, Miknos learned how to care for the chickens and boost their egg production, improving his family’s nutrition and generating income.
Within a few years he added pigeons, guinea fowl and turkeys to his small enterprise. Today, he is a well regarded animal care expert and one of 60,000 Plan volunteers worldwide.
Pay it forward
Each week Miknos visits 125 farmers, traveling on a bicycle provided by Plan to help him efficiently treat the community’s livestock. Miknos spends about 70% of his time doing Plan work and says Plan’s commitment to helping his community inspires him to pay it forward.
“If people, through Plan, are kind enough to help us, then it’s worth the sacrifice to make sure their assistance makes a difference,” he says.
“Someone calls me if their chicken is sick or if they don’t know which seeds to plant. A sick goat might not seem urgent to you, but here it may equal the loss of a family’s entire livelihood. It is important business.”
The power of giving back
Miknos and volunteers from other communities meet each week to share what they’ve learned, continually building their knowledge. “If I’m able to send my children to school and my neighbors are not, this is not something to be proud of. I must help them achieve my level of success.”
For Miknos, success is his one-room mud hut, some poultry, a few cattle, a 20-year marriage with his wife Anasiasia and three children – all of whom attend school.
“To share what I have – my knowledge, my guidance, my support – this is just the right thing,” he explains.