It might be the most unusual gift a person could give. But, in developing countries, the gift of a goat has a profound impact on a family’s health and income. It provides milk, which means essential protein for growing children, and the sale of offspring provides an income to pay for housing, health, food and schooling.
Through The Salvation Army’s Gifts of Hope Program, the gifts of animals are creating lasting changes in people’s lives, making their future brighter than the year before.
In Kilome, Kenya, The Salvation Army provided funding for 25 goats to five rural communities―four females and one male per community. These were given to guardians of children who are orphans, vulnerable children with HIV/AIDS, but the goat will benefit the entire community.
“Our objective is to have all five communities be able to stand on their own financially,” says Richard Bradbury, Project Officer in Nairobi, Kenya. “With the breeding of goats, we would like to start this project in six other communities once the current five are stable.”
The goats are used for dairy farming because of the health benefits they bring to children. Goat’s milk is considered easily digestible, calcium content is higher than cows and it is also richer in vitamins. They also do not require a large plot of land and feeding consumption is five times less than that of a cow.
The income that a goat generates is also quite substantial; a litre of milk can go for 80-150 Kenyan shillings, worth approximately CAN $2. The manure can also be sold or used on their farm as fertilizer.
The Salvation Army’s Gifts of Hope program makes a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people and communities in developing countries. The gifts are purchased by donors both here at home and abroad.
Gifts of Hope is available year-round for holidays, birthdays or other special occasions. If you would like to give a Gift of Hope, click here.