Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)
Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)
U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)
Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)
U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)
An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)
U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)
Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (click for more)
What the ADT found was that small poultry projects aimed at helping a handful of Afghan families at a time are not costly, provide much-needed income and dietary protein and appear sustainable.
The Iowa ADT initiated the project in December by giving 23 hens and two roosters each to six families who live in Karula, a small village outside the provincial capital of Asadabad. The ADT vaccinated the chickens, provided five to six months of feed and furnished funding to the families for the purchase of wood and chicken wire to construct coops.
U.S. Army Master Sgt. Darla Sheasley of Everly, Iowa, veterinary technician for the ADT, initiated the project and led the QAQC visit.
“We weren’t sure what to expect when we came here,” Sheasley said. “We didn’t know if the families would be taking care of the chickens or what kind of losses there might have been, but we were pleasantly surprised.”
Not only were all the chickens provided by the ADT alive, they were housed in mud, wood and chickenwire coops and seemed to be in robust health. Moreover, the hens were producing 12 to 15 eggs per day for the families, according to Baba Jon, assistant to the Kunar Director of Women’s Affairs.
“These families are headed by widows, and they can sell these eggs for 10 afghanis (22 cents) each,” Jon said. “They can also feed some of (the eggs) to their children, so they are very happy with this program.”
The additional income from the sale of eggs is important to the families, Jon added. However, Sheasley pointed out the sale of eggs is not the key to the sustainability of small poultry projects like the one in Karula.
“The families are able to replenish and add to the flock by letting some of the eggs hatch, and feed in the form of insects is plentiful, especially when it gets warmer,” Sheasley said.
Setting up the poultry project in Karula cost $500 per family. Sheasley, who is also a leader of the Kunar Female Engagement Team, described that as “a pretty small investment” compared to the returns.
“With the Department of Women’s Affairs, we’re setting up a self-sustaining small business for widows who are mainly relying on charity for income and helping improve the nutrition of their children at the same time,” said Sheasley. “Because it doesn’t cost much, we can duplicate it many times. The women we’re helping are grateful, and it’s something the ADT and the Afghan government can really be proud of.”
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