24-year old Angelica is a single parent of one, with sole financial responsibility for her daughter. Before she joined the Opportunities for Youth Employment OYE) project in 2015, to support herself and her child she sold home-made cookies around the Namitatar Rapale market in Mozambique. Her income from sales was about US $2.00 per day - putting her and her daughter at the poverty line. However she is now a small entrepreneur in the poultry business, employing others and providing for her family.
Angelica’s interest in poultry started in 2013 when she worked for her uncle who is an outgrower for Novos Horizontes (NH). Angelica enrolled in the Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) project (in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation) the following year. The OYE project trained her and 37 other youth over ten days in life skills and the technical aspects of poultry rearing.
SNV OYE linked Angelica to Novos Horizontes as a poultry supplier. Novos Horizontes bears the cost of supplying feed and chicks, while the outgrower bears the cost of labour, and Novos Horizontes purchase the live fully grown birds.
Angelica built her own chicken shed to rear 2400 day-old chicks. She needed a minimum of 60 feeders and drinkers for the chicks, so at first she rented chicken feeders and drinkers because the US$10 investment to buy these was too steep for her new start-up.
Her efforts paid off as she made a US$300 profit from her first cycle of grown chickens after seven weeks. Although the lack of lighting cost her a few chicks at the onset, with help and advice from her family she began using a charcoal stove to keep the chicks warm at night. She now employs two young family members, and her father to take care of the chickens at night.
“I have a better life than other girls, I encourage girls to dream and be enthusiastic, and you have to be whole-hearted in what you do. Most of my Rapale family and friends are proud of me. Some want to be like me”.
Recently, to improve the long term viability of her business she purchased her own chick feeders and drinkers, an achievement she is quite proud of.
“Maybe it looks small to other people, but for me it is the best thing that has happened to me and my daughter! We have a better meal every day, I am providing work for my relatives, and I have time to continue with my education. I also build my own house”.
With great resilience, and the skills and connections gained through OYE, Angelica has unwittingly become a role model, but more importantly she is building a real future for herself and her daughter.