Mon | Jan 18, 2021

Linstead woman gets help to restart chicken farm

Published:Wednesday | November 25, 2020 | 12:13 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
Karen Sudu, founder and executive director of the True United Sisters organisation.
Karen Sudu, founder and executive director of the True United Sisters organisation.
Claudia Brown shows off the baby chicks she received from True United Sisters to restart her business.
Claudia Brown shows off the baby chicks she received from True United Sisters to restart her business.
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Claudia Brown, an unemployed resident of Linstead in St Catherine, was not sure where help would come from to restart her small chicken farm that has been an important source to supplement the family income.

Brown was forced to close her chicken business two years ago after she was unable to collect outstanding monies owed to her by persons who took chicken from her on credit and refused to pay.

According to her, it was difficult for the family, with two boys to support who are attending St Jago High school, one of whom is on the School Challenge Quiz team, and the only other income would come from her common-law husband, who does mason work and could not get regular employment, especially since COVID-19 hit Jamaica.

Brown was elated when True United Sisters (TUS), a Linstead-based, registered charitable organisation with chapters in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, came to her assistance.

TUS, with a focus on assisting unemployed and unskilled mothers, as well as at-risk youth, indigent persons and students with back-to-school needs, assisted Brown with 50 baby chicks and 10 bags of feeding to restart her business.

Right time

“This help came at the time when it was needed most, because since the COVID, the boys’ father can hardly get anything to do and the chicken business shut down. We were having it hard, I am so grateful,” she told The Gleaner.

“Although a lot of people have gone into the business now, I will be able to get my share of business. One thing, I will not credit out these chicken to nobody, because I have learnt my lesson and I have to stay in business to help support my sons,” she added.

Brown said that at the present price of $220 per pound and with each chicken weighing an average of five pounds, she will be able to replenish the stock and see a decent income when they are ready for the market in six weeks’ time.

Meanwhile, founder and Executive Director of True United Sisters Karen Sudu told The Gleaner that it gives her a feeling of happiness to be able to provide assistance to these groups of people, as the organisation has been doing for 15 years.

“Whenever I can do something that satisfies a need, no monetary gain can compensate for this feeling,” she said.

Sudu stated that she is very encouraged by the impact that the organisation is having on the St Catherine community, having given out over half a million dollars in grants in back-to-school assistance to students, and $30,000 recently to assist a mother to restart her business.

“I am extremely grateful to my sponsors, Shelly Morgan and associates, as well as the Sites family in Canada, for their assistance,” Sudu said.