OneEgg: Using Nutrition to Transform Education

By Piper Thurman
Data News Weekly Contributor

One egg is all it took to change the lives of many children in various countries, like Rwanda, Honduras, Nepal, Haiti, Nigeria, and more. That is the gospel Chris Ordway, the Executive Director of OneEgg, hopes to spread so that ordinary Americans can see how one simple act of giving can have immense impact.

“Once I had a chance to visit Rwanda and see how many kids were without proper nutrition, I knew something needed to be done and I was ready to be a part of it,” Ordway said to Xavier University of Louisiana students on Nov. 15, 2018. The organization partners with Xavier’s campus ministry to support mission trips to locations that OneEgg serves.

OneEgg started off with three ordinary people who had one goal: to provide kids with protein-filled food, while also giving them a reason to attend Sunday school. In 2008, these three people, a Memphis businessman, a Rwandan church leader, and young woman working for Tyson Foods Inc. turned what started off as an idea to reality. In 2010, construction began on chicken houses located in Rwanda, and then that turned into 37,000 eggs being produced each week. Tyson Foods, an American multinational corporation based in Arkansas and the world’s second largest processor and marketer of meat, partnered up with OneEgg and today the organization sits in numerous countries and provides snacks to children while they attend Sunday school.

Among all the students in Rwanda’s villages, only four students were showing up to attend classes, but once OneEgg preschools began to open and eggs started being passed out, the number of students attending began to increase. The organization also supports local farmers who also serve as a source for eggs provided to schools.
“These school kids were with very little energy, living off beans and rice, and no kind of animal protein in their diet,” he began. “So, the main goal was to provide them with more to their diet, and the effects it had were tremendous,” Ordway said.

With all of its 11 chapters, Xavier campus ministry students had the opportunity to visit a OneEgg Chapter located in Honduras in 2017 and in working so closely with the organization, the experience helped them to realize what missionary work they wanted to do in the future.

“To see these less fortunate kids so excited to come to school, and so attentive to what was being taught made me so grateful for my own university and I definitely want to come back and do more,” said Denise Ssettimba, who had the chance to visit a OneEgg Chapter in Honduras.

Father Etido Jerome, who heads up Xavier’s campus ministry, also went with students and spoke about the many changes happening because of OneEgg.

“In Nigeria, 250 kids were getting zero eggs, now there are 250 kids getting an egg a day and to see the changes being made makes all of this seem worth it,” Jerome said.

Today because of OneEgg in Rwanda, Uganda and Haiti, there are over 4,000 kids receiving eggs and over half of these kids are getting an education. In newer chapters located in Mozambique, students went from receiving one egg three times a week, to more than 750 eggs being given a day.

Even more recently, the ministry was given a $341,490 grant from Tyson Foods, and according to Ordway, this grant will work towards an economically sustainable egg farm in Haiti, which will not only provide eggs for school kids, but orphanages and clinics as well.

Ordway wanted students to take away one important thing from OneEgg: that no matter who they are or where they come from, they can come together to make a difference in this world.

“Through OneEgg, I want to work to make this crazy, cruel world a better place by giving back,” Ordway began. “And we started doing that with something as simple as an egg,” Ordway said.

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