A Challenge From Zimbabwe
There aren’t too many positive news stories about teenagers — and sometimes you have to go to Zimbabwe to find them. But here’s a story about two schoolboys whose incredible discovery gave them a chance to help their families and invest in their further education. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is two Zimbabwean boys’ treasure” — or something like that.
The Zimbabwean • July 11, 2012 by Staff Reporter
Two enterprising schoolboys from Rusike, Takudzwa Munemo and Panashe Katito, have come up with an innovative way of earning money by collecting eggs dumped by chicken producers and hatching them.
“We got into the project by accident. It all started when we went to a dump yard one Saturday afternoon. At first we collected the eggs for fun and took them home. We were surprised to find out the following morning that some of the eggs had produced healthy chickens. In fact, out of the 50 eggs collected, 30 had produced chickens,” said Takudzwa.
He said they soon made regular trips to the dump to collect discarded eggs. “We normally pick the eggs on Friday afternoons after school. Since we started the venture, we have successfully bred more than 500 chickens. We sell some of the chickens young, or rear them for family consumption,” said Takudzwa.“Our families can now afford to eat chicken,” said Panashe.
They sell some day old chicks to willing families at $0.50 each. Mature chickens sell for $7 per bird. The boys are grateful for their supportive parents who provided them with poultry feed.
“We owe our success mainly to our dedicated parents, who provided us with chicken feed and other forms of support during the early days of the venture. Now, we can sell chickens to cover stock feed expenses,” said Takudzwa.
Takudzwa’s father, Edison Munemo, described his son as a hardworking and successful business person in the making.
“Since Takudzwa embarked on the project, he has never looked back. At first I thought he would falter midstream. He proved me wrong as he turned himself into an invaluable family provider.”
He said proceeds from the chicken project would be channeled into the payment of family school fees and other expenses.
The highlight of the story for us was the quote from Tukudzwa’s father, when he said, “Since Takudzwa embarked on the project, he has never looked back. At first I thought he would falter midstream. He proved me wrong as he turned himself into an invaluable family provider.”
When we read that we thought, “Wow. It’s got to feel pretty good to be an invaluable family provider.” Then we wondered, “How many teenagers in the United States are invaluable family providers? Or invaluable donors? Or invaluable tithers? How many teens are working jobs to help support their families? How many are giving to urgent needs around the world? How many are tithing at least ten percent of their income to their local church?”
Having More Isn’t An Excuse To Do Less
I don’t know about you, but we see a lot of teenagers with jobs, making money, buying Starbucks, buying clothes, saving up for a new computer, or a car, or a gaming system, or a ski trip, etc. — but give next to nothing away to anyone.
The other week my dad held an event for about thirty teenagers and a few parents. A guest speaker invited people to donate towards digging a well in Cambodia. In the end they raised only $85 that evening — all from parents. Not one dollar was given by a young adult. There wasn’t even an attempt to give. It was as if the young people didn’t think the invitation applied to them.
The Statistics Back Us Up
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2004, a twenty-year-old making $23,000 a year, will give away less than one percent (or $180) of his or her after-tax income — while spending 11.2% (or $2,500) annually on clothing and entertainment. We’re sorry, but that’s pathetic.
According to The Barna Group, only 3 out of 10 twentysomethings have given to a church in the past year — less than half the number of older adults who have donated in the same period. And this is not a measure of donation size, but simply whether any donation whatsoever was made. Troubling study after troubling study makes it clear that young people today, even those who can afford it, are not being generous. We know how to get, but not how to give.
So what about you? Takudzwa and Panashe are giving 100% of what they earn towards supporting their families. Where does the money you earn go?
Join the discussion by answering the following questions:
- Do you have a job or some other means of earning income?
- How do you use that money? Where does it usually go?
- The last time an offering or donation was taken up, did you contribute anything? Why or why not?