arc mission

To improve the livelihoods of rural women and their families in Kenya by
producing alternative source of income through the sale of rabbit meat
and by-products.

arc vision

To be the largest rabbit producer in Kenya and use the profits generated
to create a Kenya with 20,000 economically empowered rural
women who are bold, confident and self-sustainable by 2033.

Our History

ARC was started in 2009 by Laetitia Mukungu, then 14 years old. Motivated by her own personal struggle and the plight of women in her community, Laetitia decided to take a step and make a difference. Her aim was to promote women empowerment and education of the under-privileged children in her community.

How I Identified The Need

I come from Bukura village in Western Kenya. I grew up in the village and have seen the struggles that my people face.I have seen children suffer; I have seen kids drop out of school. Mothers have shed tears when they had no idea how their families would feed for a day. Fathers have resulted to drinking to forget their misery. Teenagers have joined gangs to support their families but most important, I have also experienced these huddles. I went to school barefoot in the village, was sometimes sent home for school fees, my grandparents were farmers and when seasons were bad we had no money.

Growing up in a poor village did not mean I had a poor mind. With my resilience hard work and dreaming mind, I managed to join and continue with my primary education in Nairobi. Moving from the village to Nairobi City did not make me any special, but it did give me a special idea that is, and will, transform my community.

I finished my primary education in 2009. I was to join high school but I delayed for 3 months because of school fees problems as my mom who was the bread winner had just lost her job. Instead of sitting idle at home, I moved back to the village where I volunteered as a holiday teacher at Bukura Educational Complex, a local primary school in my village. I taught pupils of class 4 to 7 in Maths, English, Kiswahili and Science.

The tuition further opened my eyes to the challenges that the children faced: lack of school fees, like me at that moment, uniform and adequate stationery. The source of these problems in school was grinding poverty in their homes. I knew there’s a need for financial sustainability among rural women in my community. The majority of these women are poor, single and jobless. In Kenya, about 1/3 of rural households are female headed. Two thirds of these households have no male support so they are headed by widowed, divorced or separated women with children. Poverty in female headed households is 44% higher than in male headed households. Single parenting for these women is a huge challenge as they have to deal with the emotional toll of bringing up the children while supporting the family financially. Basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter are not basic to them; they are privileges that occasionally, if lucky, they get. Their children are either sent home from school fees every term or they don’t go to school at all. Lack of a sustainable source of income has caused both financial struggle and depression among these women.

My Solution

While little can be done about supporting the single mother in her parenting, much could be done to help her become self-sufficient economically. My solution is to equip these women with the skills of rabbit farming which includes the raising and selling of rabbit meat to restaurants in Kenya. Rabbit farming helps women acquire employment empowering them and making them financially sustainable to satisfy their families’ needs. This is the best solution for these women for the following reasons.

Why I Chose Rabbits

  • Rabbits are the most productive of domestic livestock. A rabbit only takes 6 months to grow. Their gestation period is only 30 days and a female rabbit on average, gives birth to 30 young ones per year
  • They are very cheap and easy to feed as they mainly feed local weeds and water
  • They occupy little space hence suitable for most rural farmers who are small scale
  • They are quiet animals that can be raised in any environment
  • They rarely get sick unless kept in unhygienic conditions thus appropriate for rural women who have no money to spend on disease treatment
  • Their meat is white, high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol. Its health advantages make it high on demand especially in restaurants, hospitals and hotels
  • Rabbit farming is not complicated and requires no professional skills, which makes it suitable for rural women who are largely uneducated
  • Rabbit farming is also very convenient for the women’s location because they are enough resources in terms of land and rabbit food (green vegetation) in the rural areas.
  • Rabbit farming will provide employment to these women and part of the money from the sales will support their children in school thus removing the burden of school fees from their shoulder. The high rabbit productivity and ready market demand will ensure a continuous
    flow of income for the women.

How I started the project

I had a discussion with the head teacher of Bukura Educational Complex, the village school I was tutoring at, about my idea of raising rabbits to generate income and support needy students in his school. He agreed to lend me sh.40, 000 ($500) as start-up capital and with his help, we identified 15 most needy students in the school. I then extended the invitation to their parents and guardians. I chose to specifically work with their mothers because in my village, it is mostly the women who struggle with the responsibility of providing for the family and if I empowered one woman I would have empowered the whole family and the entire community. I went from home to home in the village selling my idea and convincing women to join me in this project. As a 14 year old girl then, this experience was tough. But it was my passion, dedication and my joy to put a smile on someone’s face that kept me going. The supportive and collaborative nature of the women in my community also made it less hectic. With the 15 guardians and parents, I formed the
Women Rabbit Association (WRA) that is under Africa Rabbit Centre (ARC).

What We Do

Africa Rabbit Centre (ARC) is a cooperative organization that established rabbit farming to help poor rural women attain financial sustainability and pay for their children’s educational needs.
ARC was founded in 2009 by Laetitia Mukungu mainly to promote women empowerment and education of the under-privileged children in her community. The organization currently has 15 women from Bukura.
ARC trains local women in rabbit farming and support them start their own micro-rabbit farms. We raise and sell live rabbits to restaurants and other rabbit suppliers in Kenya. The different breeds we have include New Zealand White and Californian White. We have a central rabbit farm where we produce around 150 rabbits annually.

Objectivies of Arc

To empower needy rural women and their families by providing alternative source of income through the sale of rabbit meat and by-products.
To offer education to rural under-privileged and orphaned children.
To enhance food security through introduction of better farming methods such as organic farming and other sources of food (rabbit meat) to a wider population.
To set up a bio-urine factory in Butere.
To establish rabbit breeding centres in Western Kenya and to provide training to farmers across the country.
To facilitate establishment of efficient marketing channels for sale of rabbit meat and products.