Stories of Change

Nona with some of her chickens.

A nightmare turns to confidence for a single mom in Georgia

For years, Nona has focused all of her time and energy on feeding her three children. Her husband passed away four years ago, so Nona is the only breadwinner for her 6, 8 and 10-year old children in their community in Georgia. 

It has been an uphill battle. Nona owns a small plot of land where she grows cabbage, beans, corn, tomatoes and other vegetables to eat and sell. But environmental conditions like drought and wind have made it harder and harder, and she doesn’t have quality seeds or tools or money to buy them. Her agricultural yields weren’t enough to feed her children, so she took on extra jobs elsewhere. She worked as a cleaner at the local café in the evenings and would sell fruit in a local market during the day.

Then the Covid-19 pandemic happened. The café closed, and Nona lost that job. Pandemic restrictions meant that she couldn’t sell fruit in the market. “I tried to do my best to feed the children by asking for support from some relatives,” she says. “I was sometimes thinking of running away from this nightmare, as we faced endless problems of hunger and poverty. People tried to survive in any way possible, but it was twice as hard for me because I was the only breadwinner for my children.”

Then, hope arrived in the form of chickens and quails. “One fine day this spring, I was invited to a meeting where the activities of this program were discussed,” she recalls. The program was a CWS food security program made possible by support from Latter-day Saint Charities. We’re helping families start poultry raising businesses to add eggs and meat to their diet and have a new source of income. Nona says, “My children and I received 15 grownup hens and seven quails and a quail cage that was a really great support during this period of hardship.” 

Every day Nona and her children collect 8-10 chicken eggs and 2-3 quail eggs. They’ve started earning money from selling eggs, and they’ve hatched more than a dozen chickens to expand their flock. Mate, 10, already has dreams of becoming a quail breeder when he grows up. “The children have eggs for breakfast–I am happy that they are not hungry anymore,” says Nona. “We decided to grow more chickens and quails for sales. Very soon we won’t have to ask anyone for food or clothes. The program has made a big positive change in the lives of my children and me. We are confident in our strength to withstand the hardships.” 

“Sometimes I think about the people that helped us, and I’m sending them my blessings,” Nona says.