Collaboratively written by Children's HopeChest Marketing Intern, Sadie Nichols
In the face of adversity, one young man in rural eastern Uganda found inspiration in an unexpected place—maggots. Meet Pius, a resilient individual with an innovative spirit, who transformed a seemingly negative concept into a solution for a critical community issue.
Growing up in a large family, Pius’s love for learning was abruptly interrupted in 2016 when financial constraints forced him to drop out of school. Undeterred, Pius returned to his community in Obwobwo, Uganda where he first encountered Children’s HopeChest. Drawn by the support his younger brother received through the CarePoint sponsorship program, Pius eagerly stepped in to contribute.
Pius quickly became an integral part of the CarePoint Community leadership team by offering his assistance with taking notes during community meetings. Recognizing his potential, the CarePoint encouraged him to apply for the Uganda Leadership Development Program.
“So I wrote an application and by God’s grace, I got to be enrolled for the program, which really impacted me so much, it opened my mind, and planted in me a spirit of apprenticeship and leadership. So after the program, I came back to my community and continued volunteering at the CarePoint and doing the discipleship programs and taking minutes for the meetings,” Pius shared.
Later, his tuition for school was covered by a gracious HopeChest sponsor, allowing him to not only graduate but also pursue a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Agriculture with a specialization in animal nutrition. It was during his time at a research center for insects that Pius’s attention was captured by the black soldier flies, igniting an idea that would change the fate of his community!
“I think this is the enterprise that can work in my community. It would solve a big problem in my community, which was the lack of animal feed,” Pius explained.
In a region where most families are subsistence farmers, struggling to make ends meet, Pius identified a crucial issue – the lack of nutrition for livestock. Sickly animals meant less meat and produce for families to sell, perpetuating a cycle of hardship.
After completing his studies, Pius returned to his community with a groundbreaking proposal for a maggot farm, and with the support of the HopeChest Uganda’s Country Director, he embarked on this innovative enterprise.
The Ripple Effect – How You Can Help Change the Future of a Community
Starting small, Pius’s maggot farm quickly gained traction. By sourcing food scraps and discarded trash from restaurants, he transformed them into nutrient-rich meals for livestock. The dried maggots became a protein-packed feed sold to local farmers, significantly improving the health and growth of their animals. This in turn allows the farmers to sell more meat and produce. The economic impact on their families and the community is incredible!
Currently producing 30-50 kilograms of meal per week, Pius envisions expanding to 500+ kilograms. His long-term goal extends beyond numbers – he aims to create lasting, widespread change in his community.
“We have it in our vision to establish as the biggest producers of maggot meal and largest feed producers in Uganda at large,” he says.
With his ingenuity, resourcefulness, and integrity, we believe he will do it!
Pius’s story is an incredible example of how HopeChest partners like you don’t just impact the life of a child – but also impact their siblings, their parents, and their community.
Because Pius’s little brother was in the program, Pius was able to benefit from the CarePoint resources, build relationships, and be selected for the Leadership Development Program. This is why holistic, sustainable development is so critical: it provides the foundation for creative solutions to systemic poverty and equips innovative leaders like Pius with the resources and tools they need to find those solutions for their community’s needs. It’s not a one-size-fits-all model.
“I would really love to thank so much, so so much, Children’s HopeChest for enabling me to have this environment and mindset to change my community. To be able to identify a problem that is pertinent in my community and see how to find a solution for that problem. I am really so, so happy. Thank you so much and God bless you.” — Pius
Join the Movement – Invest in Creative Solutions to Systematic Poverty This Christmas!
Empowering local leaders to build the solutions their specific community needs is the most effective way to address generational poverty – period.
As we approach 2024, you have the opportunity to be part of the transformative movement. By making a meaningful year end donation, you will support leaders like Pius in their mission to lift communities out of poverty. Your gift will provide Children’s HopeChest with momentum to charge full speed into the new year and support many more community leaders like Pius.
ABOUT THE CO-AUTHOR
Sadie Nichols is a student at West Virginia Wesleyan College and has been one of the marketing interns at Children’s HopeChest this past semester! Sadie is a biochemistry and political science double major, originally from Sistersville, West Virginia. Sadie is a Service Scholar, Student Senate Community and Alumni Relations Chair, a member of Alpha Delta Pi, Delight Ministries, and participates in the WVWC Zumba class!