by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Poultry rearing to help offset high cost of monthly food bill at Father Mallaghan’s Home for Boys
- Conception Lodge has pledged $3,000 to help fund this year’s projects
Management of the Father Mallaghan’s Home for Boys has identified poultry rearing as a way of offsetting the high cost of their monthly food bill.
The home has received financial assistance from Conception Lodge 8346 (English Constitution) which continues to make a difference in the lives of the nation’s youth. As part of the lodge’s charity endeavours, they have focused their attention on community initiatives that will make a difference. As a follow up from last year’s charity initiative, the brothers from one of 3 craft lodges in Grenada have taken a vested interest in the further wellbeing of the young men at the home for boys at Richmond Hill.
Last year, an EC$5,800 cheque was presented to Home Manager, Ingrid Lashington, to be used to assist 3 students who were successful in the 2018 CPEA Exams.
This year Conception Lodge intends on taking this a bit further by working with the management to embark upon 2 more projects geared towards teaching the young men life skills and entrepreneurship. While the brothers from Conception Lodge will continue to provide mentorship and follow up on the academic progress made by the 3 students, they have also decided to implement poultry rearing at the home.
Under the leadership of newly installed Worshipful Master Michael Taj Stewart, Conception Lodge has pledged $3,000 to help fund these 2 projects.
Charity Steward for Conception Lodge, Sheldon Keens-Douglas, said the young men with assistance from the home will be tasked with the responsibility of setting up and maintained the poultry farm. “It is a project that they identified that will serve a multitude of purposes, one, of course, is to provide food for the young men here at the home in terms of eggs and poultry meat and, two, for them to learn more about the science of poultry rearing and in terms of what is required like discipline, commitment in terms of responsibility and development for them.”
Brother Keens-Douglas said once the project is successful, is it hoped that the poultry farm can provide a surplus of meats that can be sold to earn revenue for the home. “As the initiative succeeds, and we hope grows, there will be an opportunity for them to sell some produce from their chicken rearing,” he said.
In addition to the poultry rearing, the lodge has offered financial assistance to help with the repairs of the home’s water drainage systems. At present, the home struggles with several leaks in the ceiling and damaged guttering. “We are looking at doing some repairs to the actual building. This has been identified that there are some challenges with the roof and with water runoff and so we are working closely with the home in terms of what is the necessary repair cost.”
Supervisor Kevin Evelyn believes that is just the beginning as the partnership between Conception Lodge and Father Mallaghan’s Home for Boys further strengthens. “First, we have seen the need for the boys to become active and engage in traditional activities, so we have come up with an idea to put together what you would call a small fowl farm where the boys can actually get involved in the actual construction, purchasing all of the chicks and maintenance if it thereof.”
He continued, “Now we are looking at this long term. Down the line where the chickens from the project will be utilised as food for consumption and if there is excess we can look into an avenue of sale and that can circumvent our food bill to an extent; and we are hoping to work along with the Conception Lodge to see what can spinoff thereafter.”
Another initiative in the making is the direct involvement of brothers from the lodge who will take it upon themselves to provide mentorship to the young men of the home.
“We have come up with a list of brothers who are eager to participate in a mentorship exercise. We will be identifying some of the young men here and partnering with them on an individual basis to help with academic assistance, life skills development, conversations into entering the world of work, etc. and we also want to be a part of some of the activities that the Father Mallaghan’s Home will be engaged in. There are some plans for road trips such as historic tours of the island and hopefully some sporting activities.”
Conception Lodge will host another black-tie event on October 5, 2019 of which some of the proceeds go towards charity initiatives spearheaded by the lodge. In 2014 Conception Lodge adopted the home and to date has donated over $10,000.
Conception Lodge was constituted in 1971 by a Charter from the United Grand Lodge of England.