By Djondo Sikalangwe - Project Training Coordinator
Gift of Goats Help Woman Become Self-Reliant
Project Participant Lontiya was forced to rely on her husband’s support throughout their 24 years of marriage. She is unable to have children, and being childless in their community made her an outcast and topic of gossip. Cultural tradition allowed Lontiya’s husband, Sikasunda, to marry a second wife and now at 61 years old, he has three children. Lontiya became angry and bitter toward her husband and said she detested crossing paths with her rival. “I felt so isolated and lonely even when I was in a group of friends,” Lontiya said. “I thought my husband would accept my [bareness] but he spends most of his time with his younger wife.” Through Heifer International’s training on the 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development, Lontiya learned to accept her reality and respond with actions of peace and reconciliation. In 2011, she also received seven goats that provide nutritious milk and manure for organic fertilizer. “The goats provide company, especially when I am alone,” Lontiya said. “They entertain me and are sometimes naughty because they are curious animals. They want to chew on everything around them.” After Passing on the Gift® (POG), Lontiya was able to sell two goats and buy agricultural inputs. When her home’s roof collapsed last year she bought iron sheets to replace the thatch roofing. Now, she finds satisfaction knowing she is a dependable wife and can share the benefits she earns with her husband. “This has brought profound joy in my life,” Lontiya said. Last year, she hosted a visiting U.S. team that came to learn more the project’s sucess. “My home is often visited by people from other countries—something I never imagined. I am always delighted to host and I hope they will come again,” Lontiya said. Lontiya said she is grateful for Heifer International’s support and is thankful it continues to enrich the lives of communities worldwide.
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