A few months ago, we were able to tell you all that we had successfully purchased goats and donkeys for the five new villages we adopted last year. The goat loans are up and running and in two years, 6 of each flock will be passed on to another family in each village. Our Donkeys are invaluable to families because they are the only means of transport. There are no roads to the villages of Darfur. If you do not own a donkey you walk, often over 20 miles for every drop of water. Our paravets are trained and working to ensure the animals remain healthy and our animal programs remain sustainable. We are thrilled that we have been able to get these projects up and running so we thank you so much for your help in that!
I’d like to introduce you to Thurya who lives in Geleidat, one of the five villages we adopted last year. Thurya is a widow bringing up five children all by herself. She was chosen to be one of the first beneficiaries in the village and received five goats and a donkey. We provided blankets for her children to prevent them getting chest infections which kill children who are weak from malnutrition. We gave her two mosquito nets to prevent malaria and we gave Thurya farm tools so she could farm more land. On the 16th of January our project managers visited Geleidat and were able to tell us just how Thurya’s life is already changing because of the animals. The donkey is instrumental in fetching water from the nearest water yard, 7km away. The goats are providing milk for her five children and her elderly mother - the nutrients are already making them all healthier. And now she is selling yoghourt to other mothers.
However, Thurya still faces problems. It is getting hotter by the dasy in Darfur, and soon it will be the hottest months of the year. We have received news that the harvest in many villages has failed, including at Geleidat. Thurya was able to collect some millet but she does not believe it will last her until the rainy months. Famine Disaster Relief has already warned that many villages in Darfur are in 'crisis' because of the failed harvest but not a single aid agency has responded. This is worrying beyond words. Kids for Kids is not an emergency aid organisation but we have to be ready to provide food for people and animals that have had their crops fail. We cannot allow people to go hungry and we must also ensure there is enough fodder to feed our goats and donkeys through these hard months.
There are often situations due to global warming and therefore beyond our control that we must be prepared for. There was extreme flooding in Darfur in September and the goats of 13 of our beneficiaries drowned. Of course, we have replaced those goats, because our goat loans must be sustainable. Thankfully this is an expense that we were able to cover but it means we must raise more to bring goats to the three new villages we will adopting this year. It just shows how important it is to be prepared with the finances to cover such catastrophes, and how needed your donations are to help in covering those costs.
Please, if you can, continue your donations to our work. We are so eager to help as many villages as possible, especially with the de-valuation of the Sudanese Pound last month, making families in Darfur even poorer than ever. Now is the best time to make a donation, because we must know how much we can do this year. We would be grateful if you could pass our reports along to your friends and family - they might be interested in supporting our work, just like you do!
You may know that over the summer we finalized our adoption of five new Kids for Kids Villages:
Absharback, Fardal, Geleidat, Hashab Baraka, and Um Judoul! We have now held Inception Meetings in each village where the community democratically selected the first families in each village that will benefit from the Goat Loan Program and receive a Donkey. As a reminder, we give six goats and a donkey to 15% of the poorest families in each village we adopt. After two years, a little flock of goats has been built up, and we are able to pass six goats from each flock on to another benefitting family! Goats' milk provides essential nutrients and protein for children that are malnourished. Donkey's are the only means of transporation, as there are no roads in Darfur. Our team has been back to the villages to teach each beneficiary how to properly care for the goats and donkey they have received. This training is essential to the success of our programs.
We are thrilled to be able to adopt these new villages and give the families goats, thereby beginning the sustainable program that will eventually benefit everyone in the village! Our goat loan program has shown great success over the years in every single village we have adopted. We have just received some information from Kulkul, a village we adopted in 2015. In 2015, 74 people received goats- a total of 394 goats all together. Today, after two years, the goats are into their second rotation and will benefit 74 additional families. There are now 678 goats, 363 of which are kids.
Khalthuma is one of the original beneficiaries in 2015 in Kulkul when she received five goats and one donkey from Kids for Kids. Khalthuma is 42 years old and has seven children and her son Ahmad, 11 years old, helps to care for the goats after school. Khalthuma's small flock of goats has grown in size and she now has the biggest flock in the village, 28 goats! She has been able to feed her children, and is hoping in the future to sell a billy goat to help her meet her children's school expenses.
It is a joy to see how well our beneficiaries are doing, and how much the animals have changed their lives. We hope you will continue to support this project. Every little can go so far in Darfur, and make a huge difference to a family who has nothing. Thank you. It is truly you that makes this happen!
We love to hear about a brilliant success story from the beneficiaries of our programme. Mahasin is one such success.
Mahasin (pictured) lives in the village of Kulkul. Mahasin (22 years) is a mother of six (2 aged under five). When we first met Mahasin, she and her family were in real need. Mahasin was identified by the Village Development Committee as being amongst the 15% poorest in her village. This is why she was eligible for a goat loan (and more) from Kids for Kids. Through the programme she received 5 goats, 2 blankets, 2 mosquito nets and a female donkey. She has cared well for her goats, in the first year having 8 kids born and 3 more this year. Her total goats are now 16 and three are pregnant. Her donkey is also pregnant. After feeding her own children, she had managed to make some profit through the sale of goat’s milk to other families. Her income has meant that when her child was very sick she was able to send him to the hospital. This was a major source of pride and empowerment for Mahasin.
Mahasin is a wonderful example of how a goat loan and a donkey can transform a life in Darfur, lifting her family out of abject poverty and giving them a chance of a real future. We are so proud of Mahasin for making such a success.
Mahasin said "I had never owned anything. When Kids for Kids lent me the goats I was very proud. They were beautiful and my three oldest children helped me look after them. It was hard. Water was a long way away to start with but it was worth it. Seeing my children get healthier was beyond my dreams. Now we have a submersible pump at our village. The only one for miles and miles. Thank you Kids for Kids. I did not know there were people like you who would help families like mine."
Women are frequently the main beneficiaries of our goat loans. Why is this? The main reason is because women are usually one of the most vulnerable and poorest segments of society. Once they start making visible economic contributions to the household, this can lead to growth in women’s self-esteem, self-confidence and their status within the household, as well as the wider community. Eventually, this provides women with more choices and a greater voice in family and community matters.
Another reason to target women as micro entrepreneurs is because studies have shown that women are the ‘change’ agents of the family and will spend a greater percentage of their income on the welfare of their households than men. As a consequence, as women’s income increases, so do improvements in the health, nutritional and educational status of other household members, particularly children. Isn’t it incredible to think that just a few little goats can make transformational changes to not just the little family they are loaned to, but also have a positive impact on the whole of society and women’s equality?
If you think you would like to help more, please consider making your donation a regular donation for the next two years so that we can make sure Mahasin and her children are supported through this journey. We will keep in touch with her and other beneficiaries regularly to find out how they are getting on.
If you are able to donate between 7 -12 August (save the dates in your diary now!), your recurring donation could be matched 100% by GlobalGiving partners – DOUBLING the difference you can make.
Thank you so very much!
Springtime in the Northern Hemisphere and many thinks of planting. And I hope you will think of your donations to Kids for Kids in the same way.
We have just had an update from Abu Degeise, one of the Kids for Kids adopted villages in Darfur. When Afaf the poorest widow in the village received the loan of goats from Kids for Kids, she put every energy into learning to care for her goats, and she has succeeded beautifully. When we were first in Darfur we were told that people knew how to look after their animals, but animals were dying. Our Animal Husbandry Courses are now the most popular in Darfur! Afaf's children are thriving and she has seen the benefit of one glass a day of goat's milk for her own children.
And now, even more, good news. Afaf decided to become the donor just like you! She regularly takes goats' milk to the kindergarten Kids for Kids has built in the village and donates that milk to help poor children survive. With so little in life, she gives to sustain and help the children grow stronger.
In two year's time, this widow has grown her little flock of 6 goats to more than 20 and can now return 6 goats to the "loan" program. Now another family will, with the help of our trained paravets, begin to make their lives more food secure.
So, each donation to Kids for Kids plants the seeds of life and hope and giving.
If you have a special occasion coming up this spring - a wedding, a graduation, a birthday - why not 'plant a goat' with Kids for Kids. We can even arrange a special 'goat' certificate for your recipient. You can donate via GlobalGiving and contact MaryJane-US@kidsforkids.org.uk for the certificate.
Why not 'plant a goat' today!
Mothers in Darfur have begged us for Kindergartens in their villages. They know that education is the way out of poverty but schools are often miles away across the desert. Many children walk 2 to 3 hours to get to school. Some stay with relatives in distant villages. It is just too far to walk home again. There are no roads. The only transport is a donkey, but a donkey costs more than twice a family's annual income. If only children could have a donkey they would be able to go to school. They could collect more water. They could help plough more land with the help of our donkey ploughs. Donkeys are more than the 4 x 4 of Darfur, they are what makes life possible. That is where Kids for Kids is able to help. Thanks to you we provided donkeys for the poorest families in four villages just before Christmas. Those donkeys are busy transforming the lives of their families. To be given a donkey is to be given a new life, to be freed just a little from the drudgery which is life in the remote villages.
But that is not all we do. For 16 years Kids for Kids has been lending goats so that children have goat's milk. Babies whose mothers cannot feed them, have milk to drink. Children who are malnourished wake up to a cup of milk each day. Mothers have a supplementary income they can rely on - and after two years they pass on offspring to another family. And, over time, the health of the entire village is improved. As you read this, new little goats will be walking into a village in the centre of Africa and bringing smiles to the faces of the children. Every week the Kids for Kids Children's Shepherds' Committees check all the goats and donkeys. In Dor Fazy, a village we adopted in 2014, last month the children checked 462 goats. Already there are 306 kids. "It is a great responsibility to check the Kids for Kids goats" said Hamid who is 11 and who is Chairman of the Shepherds' Committee in Dor Fazy. "If we see a goat that won't get up we report it to the paravet who will make it better. None of the animals has died in our village since Kids for Kids provided veterinary care for us and taught us how to look after the animals."
With your help we have trained two paravets in each of the villages we adopted last year, provided training in animal care and given the beneficiaries things like salt licks to keep the goats healthy. "It's essential to make sure the animals are well looked after" explains Dr Salim, Programme Manager for Kids for Kids. "Darfur is a tough environment, both for humans and for animals, but if the animals are healthy then they will help keep the children healthy too."
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