Javani Parker is a lively 17-year-old attending high school in Santa Cruz, Jamaica. In spite of mobility challenges since birth, Javani embraces life with vigor and determination. With the help of an LDS Charities wheelchair, Javani attends school and works with his mother to manage their broiler chicken business. Prior to starting their business, Javani and his mother participated in an LDS Charities project to build a coop, purchase chickens and feed, and to learn about raising and marketing broiler chickens. They then took what they learned through this project to start a successful broiler chicken business.
With the proceeds from their broiler chickens, Javani and his mother pay for Javani’s schooling, save for his college education, and make needed repairs to their home. Until this time, their house had remained unfinished with a deteriorating roof. The additional income allowed them to purchase brick and roofing materials and to complete these repairs.
The success of their broiler chicken business also helped them start another small business selling baked goods. Javani conducts this other small business selling baked coconut drops and “gizardas,” small pie-like pastries with a coconut and spice filling. When he first started this business on a local street corner, he sold out of his pastries within an hour. After this experience, he developed a business plan where he hired seven people to bake and sell gizardas on seven corners, thus employing others to meet the demand while still making a profit for himself.
After he graduates from high school, Javani plans to attend college and eventually obtain a master’s degree in business management. With his current small business experience, he has helped other students at his high school to improve their vendor businesses. As a result of sharing his ideas about business and money management, some of these students have doubled their profits.
With the help of LDS Charities projects, Javani and his mother have become more self-reliant. Receiving a wheelchair helps Javani attend school and manage their businesses with his mother. They are also able to provide for their temporal needs while sustaining their businesses. Javani and his mother are now able to make plans to turn their hopes for the future into a reality.