The Rotary Club of Brisbane has been a proud supporter of the  Kyeema Foundation, a Brisbane-based not-for-profit organisation since November 2018. The project we are supporting involves the breeding and conservation of indigenous village chickens in Papua New Guinea (PNG). RCOB initially supported set-up of a village chicken farm for Haus Pikinini in Wau, Morobe Province, which is a community home that looks after 30 children from the local community who have no-one to provide for them. We supported the set-up of the chicken shed and yard, purchase of local chickens for breeding and training in village chicken keeping. Kyeema are still providing support to Haus Pikinini with the management of their chickens.

In April 2020, RCOB provided a donation of A$3,980 to support setting up of another village chicken farmer in Gabagaba village. Kopure Airi (Kopsi) was trained as a Master Farmer in Fiji in October 2019. Since then, he has returned to his village in Gabagaba, Central Province and with funds provided by RCOB, has been set up as a Master Farmer of village chickens for his community. The picture below shows the chicken house built and stocked using Rotary funds as part of this project.

The RCOB support is part of a larger project being supported with funds from the Australian Government’s NGO Cooperation Program, which means that every dollar provided by RCOB has been matched by an additional five dollars from the Australian government.

This project also includes support of community-led no fish zones and coral reef gardening activities. One of the nutrition problems faced by coastal communities is that of reef degradation, reducing available protein sources. The solution for the reef is a rebuilding and re-seeding process, but this takes time and requires that the reef become a no-fish zone for an extended period of time. Without a replacement source of protein, this would potentially result in malnutrition. This is where village chickens come into play. They provide an alternative food source and livelihood activity while the reef is being mended.

Gabagaba Master Farmer

Kopure Airi (Kopsi) was trained as a Master Farmer in Fiji in October 2019. Since then, he has returned to his village in Gabagaba, Central Province and with funds provided by RCOB, has been set up as a Master Farmer of village chickens for his community. While he still has a way to go to build his chicken numbers up (currently he has 32 chickens), he is slowly getting there and will commence training for his community once he has sufficient stock to give to community members after they complete the training. He is also hoping to set up a coral garden later this year with the funds provided by Rotary.

General Project Progress

The larger Kyeema project encompasses establishment of breeding and training centres in Central and Morobe Provinces and training activities to ensure the specialised skills needed for this work are provided, so that improved village poultry keeping and conservation of indigenous chickens can be sustained. Families receive chickens to raise after their training session, which will provide both a source of food nutrition and income. To date, under the larger project:
  • Six PNG Master Farmers (four male, two female) were trained in Fiji over a four-week period in coral reef restoration, permaculture, participatory community decision making and improved village chicken keeping.
  • Baseline surveys have been undertaken in four Villages in Central Province and in Markham Valley, Morobe Province.
  • Six village chicken breeding centres have been set up: Vanapa, Tubusereia and Gabagaba in Central Province; Markham Valley and Wau (Haus Pikinini) in Morobe Province. Two have been funded by RCOB.
  • 52 farmers have been trained in village chicken keeping (42 in Central Province, 10 in Morobe Province: 35 women, 17 men).
  • Two coral gardens have been established in Central Province
  • System set up to provide farmers who do not have the means to purchase chickens with three chickens and a rooster and a roll of chicken wire to set up a basic chicken shed after they complete basic training in village chicken keeping.

Gabagaba Master Farmer, Kapure Airi (Kopsi)

Tubusereia Master farmer/Coral Gardener, Kevin Egu helping set up the chicken shed.

Photos above: Explaining the A-Frame technique; Master coral gardener, Kevin Egu demonstrating the cement cookies method to restore coral reefs. Strong community participation and sharing of activities on Facebook.