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Young egg farmers are #CrackingHunger

Thanks to Egg Farmers of Canada’s more than 7-year partnership with Heart for Africa (Canada), the Project Canaan egg farm in Ewsatini produces more than a million eggs every year for the community and for the more than 250 orphaned and vulnerable children who call Heart for Africa home.

Young Canadian egg farmers Marc and Cheryl Norleen, Andrew Packham and Richard Boer participated in a fundraising challenge in support of Heart for Africa (Canada). After achieving their fundraising goal, the group travelled to Eswatini in November of 2019 to lend their skills to the Project Canaan egg farm and see first-hand the incredible impact of the humble egg.

What was it like working on an egg farm on the other side of the world? We asked Marc, Cheryl, Andrew and Richard–and here’s what they told us.

Marc and Cheryl Norleen are egg farmers from Raymore, Saskatchewan. They are pictured in Eswatini with the Project Canaan egg delivery truck.

“We first heard about Heart for Africa when we participated in Egg Farmers of Canada’s national young farmer program,” says Cheryl. “During the program, another egg farmer came in to talk about Project Canaan and called it a ‘life changing’ experience.”

“I wanted to travel to Project Canaan to see it first-hand and see how the eggs helped in the community there,” says Andrew. “I enjoy volunteering and giving back to my community, and this sounded like a great opportunity to help outside my community as well.”

Richard Boer is an egg farmer from Chilliwack, British Columbia. He is pleased to know that as a Canadian egg farmer, he is part of a community that is helping provide eggs to the hungry and communities in need.

“My first impression when I arrived at Project Canaan was that I was amazed they could accomplish so much with limited resources in such a small amount of time,” says Richard.

As part of their volunteer work on the farm, the group helped with maintenance in the egg barn and collected eggs before boiling and packaging them for distribution in the community.

Andrew Packham is an egg farmer from Dunnville, Ontario. Equipment maintenance is a regular part of egg farming, and he was happy to lend his skills in the egg barn at Project Canaan.

The eggs distributed in the community were included in care packages for families in need. As part of this feeding program, children receive a health checkup to assess the impact the program is having on their growth and development.

“I was shown that the impact of the egg can be huge,” says Richard. “We witnessed an entire community come out to meet us and receive a care package that included an egg.”

“One hard-boiled egg can go a lot farther than you think,” says Andrew. “Eggs are an excellent source of protein for the people in Eswatini who need protein and nutrients.”

Eggs are a sustainable source of nutritious food for the community, and a much-needed source of protein for the more than 250 orphaned and vulnerable children who call Heart for Africa home.

Marc and Cheryl also saw the impact of eggs in the communities they visited. “Seeing the importance of the egg—seeing how Egg Farmers of Canada and Heart for Africa are giving eggs to people who benefit so much from them left a large impression on us,” say Marc and Cheryl.

Richard, Andrew and Marc joined the team at Project Canaan to help collect eggs.

All four egg farmers returned to Canada with a strong appreciation for the impact the egg project is having in Eswatini. “It’s difficult to explain how great the impact is. It opened my eyes to everything. What they’re going through compared to what we have here—there is no comparison,” says Andrew.

Project Canaan is a bright reminder of the power of the humble egg. You can directly support Heart for Africa (Canada) and the egg project by making a donation today. Your generous donations will help cover ongoing operating costs and support the long-term sustainability of the egg project. Click here to donate and join us in #CrackingHunger.