Known as "The Switzerland of Africa", the Kigezi region of Uganda is home to many species of fruits and vegetables that grow readily. Most Ugandan families tend to a small subsistence garden in the area around their homes to provide food for their large families. Unfortunately, sources of protein are harder to come by; even legumes such as beans can be expensive for the average family. Most families are only able to afford meat once a year during the holiday season.
Due this lack of dietary protein, many Ugandan children suffer from Kwashiorkor, an intense protein-starvation. Developmental issues arise as the children experience long-term nutritional deficiencies. Physical growth is stunted and efforts towards education slow significantly, leaving the children in a chronic state of underdevelopment and malnutrition.
Thanksgiving in Uganda strives to eradicate Kwashiorkor in the neighborhoods within its reach. We give each at-risk family a set of 3 rabbits (one male and two females) to breed. Rabbits are low in fat and high in protein. 80% of the rabbit is meat while only 20% is bone. The rabbits breed quickly; each female can produce 64 rabbits per year for a total of 128 rabbits! This allows for each beneficiary family to eat one rabbit per week (a 5200% increase in protein) and sell the surplus for supplementary income.