A pair of goats: a gift that keeps giving

Mbiri Banda was chosen by his community to receive a pair of goats in 2009. His herd has grown to nine. CLWR/J.Clark

Mbiri Banda was chosen by his community to receive a pair of goats in 2009. His herd has grown to nine. CLWR/J.Clark

On a very hot and sunny day this past October, I was welcomed to the village of Bombwe in rural Zambia along with my colleague Enock Oduro. CLWR provides support for development projects here, and we were visiting to see some of the work in person.

This was my first time visiting Zambia, and it was especially interesting to see in person how “Gifts from the Heart” make a difference to the people who receive them. The most popular gift by far is a pair of goats, which provide milk, meat, manure (for garden fertilizer), and a source of income for their recipients. I was looking forward to meeting some “CLWR goats” and their owners.

I wasn’t disappointed. We met Mbiri Banda, who received two goats in 2009. Mbiri lives in Bombwe with nine of his family members in a small brick house. He was chosen by his village to receive goats after he hurt his leg. His injury makes it difficult for him to get around without crutches.

Goats in Mbiri Banda's corral. The corral is made of logs and elevated off the ground. CLWR/E.Oduro

Goats in Mbiri Banda’s corral. The corral is made of logs and elevated off the ground. CLWR/E.Oduro

Mbiri was asked to construct a corral and when that was completed he received his pair of goats. It’s not the type of corral we may be used to seeing, but it serves Mbiri and his goats well. It’s constructed out of logs, with a roof, and it’s built off the ground to protect against attacks from wild animals. He says that he has been fortunate that none of his goats have been affected by disease or attacks.

Mbiri’s two goats have grown to nine (one male and eight female), with some of them pregnant! As a goat recipient Mbiri is required to give kids to other families, so that others can benefit from the food and income goats bring. He did this last year, meaning that he has now assumed ownership of his herd. Finding enough food for the goats can be a challenge, he says, and since gaining ownership, he has sold some to create income. He says that the goats have helped solve some financial problems and he is grateful for the assistance.

I was glad to have met Mbiri, and to see how the gift of a pair of goats has made a difference in his life.

-Jennifer Clark, CLWR Program Assistant-Community Relations

A pair of goats is always available for purchase in our Gifts from the Heart catalogue. Give online at clwr.donorshops.com/product/23BC37E/pairofgoats.php, or call 1.800.661.2597.

 

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