Parmiters A group took the work started by Parmiters School students in 2015 and grew the Happy Pig Pen project from a single experimental demonstration pig pen to an economic engine for Lishe Bora and the families they work with. 20 students and four leaders spent 6 working days camping at Lishe Bora’s eco-farm campsite. During that time they completed a range of projects including:
- 3 family vegetable gardens
- 3 compost boxed and compost piles
- 20L of organic pest repellent and booster
- Contribution to the Kirua Vicoba community banking group
The group’s most significant contribution was to the growth of the “Happy Pig Pen” program, which was started by Parmiters in 2015. “Happy Pig Pen” refers to an organic method for raising pigs. In addition to being more humane, environmentally friendly, and sanitary, the design is intended to produce the lowest total cost of ownership and maximum return on investment. “Happy Pig Pens” feature a mixture of dirt, sawdust, and rice hull charcoal on the floor of the pen. This feature reduces illness and improves growth by enabling pigs to:
- Regulate body temperature
- Choose a single area to use as a bathroom
- Reduce cuts, broken limbs, and other injuries caused by concrete flooring
- Reduce stress through play and digging
Parmiters A group built an additional Happy Pig Pen with Lishe Bora on their new eco-farm land. Lishe Bora now has 2 pig pens to use for pig fattening and piglet rearing. Each pig pen improves Lishe Bora’s ability to achieve financial self-reliance. Ultimately, Lishe Bora wants to be able to continue their community work without outside funding and income generating projects like Happy Pig Pens are part of that plan.
In addition to the Lishe Bora pig pen, Parmiters A worked with 2 families to build family-sized pig pens. Families contributed construction materials, Lishe Bora contributed piglets on loan from their pig pens, and students contributed labor for construction. Two families received loans of 2 piglets each, which they will repay after fattening and selling the pigs.
This is a small but exciting first step towards creating an “economic engine” in the community. Lishe Bora hopes that eventually they can provide dozens of pig fattening loans to families with Happy Pig Pens. The community can become known for their organic pork from humane, environmentally friendly pig pens.