That’s the reason why goats are included annually in World Renew’s Gift Catalog. It is also why donations towards goats in our Gift Catalog are so important. The gift of a goat starts a cycle of hope in a community in need.
Consider Nowshera, Pakistan for example. This region is home to thousands of families who were devastated by floods in 2010 and 2011. Crops, buildings, houses, and livestock were completely wiped out when heavy monsoon rains caused rivers to overflow their banks.
“We owned two pairs of goats and selling their milk provided an additional income and a decent lifestyle for my family. My children were able to drink milk twice a day and stay healthy,” recalled Najma Begum, a widow and mother of six children. “When the massive floods hit our village, they destroyed everything. Our house was a wreck; we lost our basic necessities as well as our goats. The financial loss was unimaginable.”
Begum and her children moved to a temporary shelter on higher ground and waited for the floods to recede. She and the others in this makeshift camp had little to eat and were susceptible to several waterborne diseases.
“Seeing my children in such a state was horrible,” she remembered. “We waited for an angel to descend and help us.”
"It was a sigh of relief for my family and me to know that we could start over."
After a few days, World Renew (then known as CRWRC) came and began working through its local partner, the Inter-faith League Against Poverty (I-LAP). They assessed needs and developed an appropriate response that looked to meet people’s immediate needs for food and shelter, but also provided them with a way to get back on their feet after they returned home. This long-term livelihood restoration program included the distribution of 85 male and 850 female goats and training on how to properly care for them. The initial recipients of these first goats then “paid it forward” by sharing the first baby goat born with another member of the community.
“I was identified as a beneficiary,” said Begum. “World Renew and I-LAP provided me with a lot of assistance such as food aid, wheat seeds, fertilizer, seeds for my kitchen garden, and above all I also received a goat. I-LAP provided us with very good training on kitchen gardening and raising healthy animals. I have learned how to take good care of my livestock.”
This is just one of thousands of stories that World Renew hears each year of people who were helped through your Gift Catalog donation of goats.
Mrs. Wangui Kinua, in Kenya, is another example. She and her community have traditionally raised cows for milk and meat. However, recurring drought in their region has severely depleted the cow population. There simply hasn’t been enough grass and fodder to keep cows alive.
World Renew and its partner, the Ndeiya Integrated Food Security Project, introduced Kinua and her neighbors to the idea of raising goats instead. Goats are raised by other communities in this region with great success. Similar to cows, goats can provide milk and meat to their owners, but each goat eats about one eighth of what a cow eats.
World Renew provided the community with 16 female goats and 4 male goats. This was done as a loan. Each person who received a goat was trained in how to properly feed and care for their animal. They were required to build a shelter for their goat. They also agreed to pay a goat back to the program after their female goat had its first babies. In this way, the benefits could continue to spread.
Kinua received one of these first goats. She now obtains a liter of goat milk each day, which is equal to what she received from her cow that died during the last drought. She said that raising goats is less tedious than raising cows because they are easy to manage and eat less. She can then spend more time on other chores in her farm and home.
“Milk from my goat has already changed my life, I feel like I am growing younger day by day,” she said.
In 2012, World Renew distributed more than 3,800 goats as part of a disaster response project or as part of a long-term community program to help people overcome poverty. In each case, World Renew carefully selected a breed of goat that was suited to the local environment and was locally available (to boost the local economy). It also ensured that goats were healthy, community members were trained in veterinary care, and that goat owners were trained in how to properly feed and care for their animals.
“It was a sigh of relief for my family and me to know that we could start over. I’m grateful to God for sending organizations like I-LAP and World Renew to help us at such a time when we were vulnerable. May God always be with them,” said Begum.
Thank you for helping to make this possible with your Gift Catalog donations!
Frequently Asked Questions about World Renew’s Goat Programs
HOW ARE GOATS DISTRIBUTED?
Does World Renew carry ou the entire process of distributing goats on their own or do they work with other organizations?
As with its other community development and disaster response programs, World Renew carries out its goat distribution projects in partnership with local organizations. These partners are often local churches, church organizations, or community-based organizations focused on improving people’s lives. By working with and through these local partners, World Renew can ensure projects are tailored to the specific cultural, environmental, social and political context of a particular region. It also helps us build up local leadership and the Christian witness of the church to endure after World Renew is gone.
HOW ARE GOATS PURCHASED AND TRANSPORTED?
From which place or source is the goat purchased and how is the goat transported?
The source of the goats varies by project. World Renew aims to purchase the goats as close to the place of distribution as possible so that there are fewer challenges for the animals in adapting to the local environment. This also helps to boost the local economy. In most projects, the goats are bought in local markets and herded (or walked) to the recipient villages. They are also sometimes transported by truck if the distance is too great. Veterinarians are sometimes hired to ensure the health of animals before they are distributed.
DO YOU EVALUATE ENVIRONMENTAL SUITABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY?
What evaluation criteria (sustainability, environmental impact) are used to determine which part of the world is most suitable to raise goats?
Our goat projects are usually implemented in places in which the raising of goats is already an established livelihood and already part of the local environment. This helps to ensure that the animals can grow and thrive successfully. In most cases, the goat projects are part of a rehabilitative initiative to assist people as they recover from a shock to their livelihood, such as a loss of their livestock due to drought, flood or conflict.
We do not import goats from other parts of the world, nor do we provide goats to communities that have never raised livestock before. We understand that animals from one part of a country may not survive in the climate of another part of the country, so we are very careful about the selection of suitable breeds and not relocating too far. In Pakistan we consulted with local veterinarians on what breed is most appropriate to the region, and put out a tender for a minimum of 3 suppliers to get the best price. We also vaccinate goats prior to distribution, train local extension workers and try to link communities with veterinary care and existing government programs.
Similarly, in our community development programs, we only introduce goats in communities where goat-rearing is already an existing form of livelihood and where local men and women are asking for this type of assistance. We work with our partners to identify breeds that are doing well in the local environment and consider the impact that introducing more goats might cause. We then train goat recipients in how to properly house and feed their goat before any animals are given.
Before goat projects are started, World Renew and its partners usually carry out a risk assessment analysis that includes looking at the environmental impact of starting the program. We also encourage families to build appropriate shelters to house their goats, which helps minimize the environmental impact that occurs when goats graze freely and destroy crops.
HOW ARE GOATS FED?
How is the goat fed? Do the recipients have to buy feed for the goat or do they own plot of grazing land?
This varies by project and country. The ability of the recipients to care for and ensure an available supply of feed is considered every time in the decision on whether or not to provide goats. Also of importance is available water supply. These are all criteria assessed in the design of the program.
In some cases, it is a requirement to enclose goats full-time to prevent environmental damage. In these places, people don’t buy fodder but go out and collect feed themselves from the natural environment or use by-products from their grain processing (such as stalks from corn or millet) as animal feed.
In other cases, the goats are cared for (guarded) by designated community members as they graze communally owned land. In still other cases, as in a drought where there is no fodder available on the communal land for free grazing, we have included the provision of fodder in the budget, until such time as the drought is over.
WHO RECEIVES THE GOATS?
What evaluation criteria are used to determine which families would benefit from receiving a goat?
Identifying the beneficiaries is a key part of the planning of the project. The goats are always provided based on the level of need (including an evaluation of assets that were lost due to the disaster, current capacities, level of food consumption and family composition). For goat projects specifically, the criteria often include (1) previous experience in raising goats, (2) a willingness to care for the goat and, in some cases, (3) a willingness to pass on at least one of the young to other needy beneficiaries in their community.
In a project World Renew is implementing in Ethiopia and a recent project in Pakistan, the local leaders identified community members who will receive the young goats that will be passed on from the original project beneficiaries. This “pay it forward” idea was suggested by the local village leaders so as to put more pressure on the beneficiaries both to care for their goats and to be aware that another needy family in their village will be waiting to benefit from the project as well.
In World Renew’s community development programs, the initiative to receive goats comes from community members themselves. They are usually part of a community group that is working on addressing a variety of needs (such as adult literacy, improved agriculture, and child health). The community groups receive training in goat-rearing and select who will receive the first goats. These community members then pass along the first baby goat to another member of the group so that the benefits continue.
ARE THERE "STRINGS ATTACHED"?
Are there "strings attached" before a family receives a goat, i.e. is there a time interval for keeping the goat before slaughtering the goat for food or selling the goat?
Each project deals with this differently depending on the local context. We have not set time limits for keeping the goats because selling or slaughtering the goats has not been an issue. From our experience in the communities where we have worked, the goat is too valuable to the recipient families to be mishandled.
For many, the goats are like a bank account. They can be “cashed in” during a time of emergency or to cover special expenses for weddings, funerals, or unexpected medical needs. Because they are not cash, goats are not squandered easily. Instead, a family invests in their goat and only sells it when it becomes necessary to do so.
In most projects we require beneficiaries to attend trainings prior to receiving goats. We have hired veterinarians who teach them proper care for goats, how to recognize diseases and what government services are available in country that may provide free vaccinations so that they project has the most chance to succeed.
Depending on the local context, we may require that recipients build an appropriate shelter to house their goat to minimize its environmental impact and to keep it from getting sick. In some cases, goat recipients are also required to “pay back” their goat by giving the first offspring to another community member.
HOW DO YOU CALCULATE THE COST OF GOATS?
How do you determine the cost for each goat?
The cost for World Renew to distribute a goat to an individual or family in need varies from country to country and region to region. It includes the cost for each animal, transportation, vaccinations, and training in goat-rearing and veterinary care. In each of these categories, the cost can vary depending on where the program is being run.
The largest cost variant has to do with the breed of goat selected. There are many different breeds of goats and World Renew works with its local partners to select the breed most suited to the local environment. For example, a goat that thrives in the mountains of Haiti might struggle in the dry grasslands of Kenya. Wherever possible, we purchase the goats locally to ensure that the type of goat will adapt well to the local situation. This also helps minimize transportation costs.
To determine the cost mentioned in World Renew’s gift catalog each year, our staff calculate all of the costs associated with goat programs in the previous calendar year and divide that by the number of goats distributed. We use this average cost per goat as the new suggested donation amount.