Fania and her goat in the school yard
In the rural community of Mersan in southern Haiti there is a primary school called Ecole Mixte Bon Berger. Since 2012 World Concern has partnered with this school by providing goats and husbandry training to students. With a goat students are able to earn an income by selling the goat’s offspring and using the money to pay for school tuition and other supplies.
One of these students in Mersan is named Fania Bien-Aime, a shy 14-year-old girl who has a smile that is hard to forget. She lives a 15 minute walk from the school with her parents and six siblings. “I always walk to school. In the beginning it was difficult but now it is easy.”
Fania recently received a goat from World Concern and participated in the training where she learned how to take care of her goat and how to maintain its health.
“I know how to take care of the goat because I learned some things in the training,” she said. “When it’s raining I have to shelter the goat but usually during the day it sits in the shade because the sun is too hot.”
Now her goat is in heat and Fania expects it to become pregnant shortly.
When working with communities, the ‘long view’ must be taken into consideration. There may be solutions that would provide temporary assistance to Fania, however this lacks sustainability and requires a handout to be given repeatedly. World Concern is interested instead in long term solutions.
A goat is a treasured asset in rural Haiti because it represents a steady income. “Each year a goat can give between six and nine kids, and she may produce kids for up to 10 years,” explains Pierre Duclona, World Concern’s regional coordinator for southern Haiti.
While a goat and relevant training may not produce immediate results, it will provide students like Fania with a way to earn an income for years to come and give her new skills which she can carry into adulthood.
Fania will soon begin the 6th grade and is looking forward to returning to class after the summer break.
“The sciences and mathematics are the ones I like. I like to study,” she shared. “Education is important so I can help my parents and also for myself to feel good and help in society.”
“I would like to be a tailor but I can’t sew right now. For now this is the profession that is in my head,” explained Fania. “You can get money from this skill because when school begins, parents need to send their children’s uniforms to get sewed.”
With a goat and specific training, Fania is well-positioned to earn an income and therefore continue with her education which will give her opportunities to provide for herself and her family. Thank you so much for your generosity and partnership in keeping girls like Fania in school!
Fania with a friend
Fania's goat receives vaccines