Rabbits for Resilience


RFR Stories

Rabbits for Resilience was started in rural Walungu Territory in 2013 as a response to the requests of rural parents who expressed concern about their children’s development and participation in school as a result of the poverty and instability that rural villages have endured over the years of conflict.

Parents described youth as needing improved developmental opportunities, increased engagement in their family and community and the opportunity to regularly participate in school. Rabbits for Resilience is a livestock microfinance intervention that works with male and female youth, aged 10-15 years, and their adult parents/caregivers. Youth members, identified with the assistance and consent of their parents, express an interest and commitment in the program including building a home for their rabbit, providing food and health care, participating in monthly group meetings and repaying their loan. Members receive a 2-4 month old female rabbit. When the rabbit gives birth, the youth member repays the loan to the project in the form of 2 female rabbits, which are then used as new loans in the village. Youth members receive support from each other during the meetings and from our Pigs for Peace Agents through supportive home visits and monthly meetings.

In 2013, with funding from the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD), we initiated an impact evaluation of Rabbits for Resilience in 10 villages of Walungu Territory. We are now working with 515 families (youth and their parents/caregivers) in the Rabbits for Resilience project in Walungu Territory. The first group of rabbits were successfully distributed in May of 2014

Why Rabbits?

We provide loans in the form of a rabbit because:

  1. Rabbits are easy for youth to raise while participating in school and family and community activities.
  2. Rabbits reproduce frequently.
  3. Food for rabbits is widely available in the villages.
  4. There are no cultural taboos, age or gender-based responsibilities for raising or selling rabbits.



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