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Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe

by American Foundation for Children with AIDS
Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe
Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe
Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe
Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe
Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe
Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe
Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe
Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe
Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe
Livestock for 300 Orphan Families in Zimbabwe
Jacaranda Trees
Jacaranda Trees

It is the purple month yet again!  The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom and where roads have them planted in abundance along each side, it is like driving thru a purple tunnel.  Lovely.

It has been an exciting and eventful month on the Goat Farm!  We started the month weaning Pizza and Charlotte, which they thought was totally unnecessary and were happy to inform us of their displeasure.  They are VERY loud and vocal kids!  Weaning means we also slowly stop milking their mums, Piglet and Brittany.  So we needed new milkers and decided it was time to take Clover and Flower (the twins), Hazel and Sunny away from their mums for the nights as they are now nearly 3 months old.  This means in the morning their mums, Demmy, Wendy and Princess have milk  for us before reuniting with their kids for the day.  We feel this is a more gentle way to wean than to just remove the kids from their mums ‘cold turkey’ so to speak!  However, it does mean we have a couple of noisy nights as everyone settles to the new routine.

Mid-month we had a call from Edelow, one of our beneficiaries, whose three goats had already expanded to 6 by March of this year (sadly one passed away during a very cold spell in July).  Edelow was very worried about one of her kids who was not looking well.  Thando and I leapt into the ‘Goat Ambulance’ with our Home Visit medical box and headed off to do a house call.  While we were there we noticed that Daisy, one of the original mamas Edelow had received, was looking unhappy.  She was pregnant, but Edelow assured us she was not due until end of October.  We medicated her as well, prayed for healing and returned home.  But Edelow’s story is not yet complete! Five days later we received a frantic call from her saying that Daisy was not at all well.  Off we go for another home visit and this time we decided we would bring Daisy back for intensive care so we could watch her, rather than travel to and from Edelow’s home which is at least five miles away.  We couldn’t see much wrong with Daisy over the next few days as we monitored her.  She was very quiet initially and not keen to eat.  Then she settled down and wanted to reunite with her old friends in our herd!  She went out with the herd for a few days before we took her back home to Edelow.   The next day we get an excited call from Edelow to say that Daisy has given birth to twins!  According to Edelow’s due date they were three weeks early!  All is well though and Edelow’s herd has increased now to seven with her twins, a boy and a girl.  Her other two does are due in the next month as well, so if all goes well before the year is up, she will have at least tripled her herd.  She is an excited lady!

We have explored various methods of identifying each goat in the herd for ease of management. We tried to come up with a more practical method than tagging their ears.  We do not like this method as the goats sometimes get the tag caught on the wire fences and unless we are close by, can cause themselves an injury. We tried tattooing their ears, but that was unsuccessful and a lot of work.  However, as the goat herd grew and we had more and more unidentified goats running around, we have gone back to the ear tagging method again.  This month we chose a day and tagged all the untagged.  It is about as painful as ear piercing if done correctly.  The team did the deed without a drop of blood spilled and only a few ‘piercing’ complaints.  Job well done and we hope there will not be any fence issues!

What you may ask are we doing with the milk we are getting from the ladies we milk?  Several things, actually. We have donated some to a project in town that is assisting young school children with life skills.  One of those skills is soap making and they have introduced goat milk into the soap. We purchase some of the soap and sell it in our small craft shop. Making Kefir instead of purchasing yogurt for our kitchen. No longer purchasing milk from the shops. Making feta cheese.

We should soon be seeing more miracles on the farm when the birthing starts in just over a month.  Each birth still astounds me.  It is such a privilege to see these babes arrive in the world, usually with so much ease.  Within minutes they are up on their wobbly legs and searching for their mums’ udders.  We are in a great place – you should come and visit!

Until next time, I am off to make lunch: green salad with lots of feta!

Edelow and Daisy on Their Way Home
Edelow and Daisy on Their Way Home
The New Twins
The New Twins
Charlotte Minutes after Her Ear Piercing
Charlotte Minutes after Her Ear Piercing
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Winter is here!  We are experiencing cold like we haven’t experienced for some years – and it is likely to continue for a while!  But all is not gloom as we have also had some beautiful blue skies and warm sun while most of the visiting teams have been with us. 

While I lie in bed at night, warmly tucked under blankets with socks warming my toes, listening to the cold wind whistling outside, I think of the goats in their open shelters and wonder if we shouldn’t knit them winter woollies!

Tanya brought a team over in June to work with us around the community and with the goats.  It was a very industrious group and they got through a lot of work amidst fun and laughter.  We visited the homes of goat beneficiaries and were pleased to see the herd growth in every household.

Unfortunately with winter the browse and grazing are much less nutritious.  We are now collecting pods from some of the indigenous trees and buying in supplementary feed to stop the herd losing too much condition.

Bruce, our new buck, will soon be old enough to run with the ladies.  At the moment we are introducing him to the herd slowly so he can build up to his full potential gradually.  He is turning into a delightful character; as sweet natured as his predecessor was.

And our youngest brood who are still too young to go out with the herd have fun in the ‘kindergarten’ play area with specially collected ‘greens’.  Unlike many human youngsters of their age, they have no problems tucking into their meal of greens!

Pixie, the young lady in the top left corner above, was amongst the first born on the farm from one of the original does we purchased that were pregnant.  She has not grown to the size she should have, due probably to inadequate feeding of her mother when Pixie was in the womb.  She may never grow big enough to have her own kids but is a quiet favorite in the herd.  She finds her way into our garden and quietly finds herself good browse that her friends in the herd cannot get to!

Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS enjoys the updates and stories from our partners.  We hope you enjoy them, too, and know that we could not do this amazing work without your continued support.  If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at 

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Just over a year ago, the American Foundation for Children with Aids partnered with us to supply goats to vulnerable homes. At the end of 2017 we were in a position to release our first goats into their new homes within our community.   To make it even more significant, 4 ladies representing AFCA came to assist with the delivery of the 15 goats.

Tara Fisher spent 6 months with us in 2016 through to 2017.  She helped us set up the herd and records.  It was a very busy time and nothing ever went accordingto plan!  She learned the crazy ways of Africa and missed us all so much that she came back for the first goat hand-outs!  She brought with her, Tammy, Kaitlyn and Rebecca to assist.  Tammy blessed us with her knowledge of goats and was able to help and advise in so many areas – including lancing an abscess on the udder of one of our does, and she operated under a tree with minimum First World medical tools.  The doe has fully recovered!

We delivered the first goats to Edelow, a widow who has several children.  She was ecstatic to receive Daisy, Hope and Speck.  Within days Daisy surprised her a girl kid.  The next delivery was to Deliwe, who lives with her mother and several grandchildren. She received KitKat, Nutmeg and Fern.

Next in line was Media, a deserted wife who has 6 sons who she has almost single-handedly managed to get through school.  She has also been supporting Gracious, her granddaughter who was ‘sent’ to her to be looked after.  Media and Gracious received Cali, Carlos and Moo.  Cali presented the family with twins not long after settling in!

Then came Joyce, although she is known as Sister in the community.  In Sister’s household she has her son and his wife and several grandchildren.  Sister is also a widow.  Her son has planted cotton bushes, apple trees and several unusual varieties of trees in their homestead garden.  Sister’s small vegetable garden is also very productive and she plants a variety of vegetables.  The goats Sister received were Penn, Brittany and Zoey.  We heard that Zoey gave birth to a healthy baby girl last week!

Our last delivery was to Gladys who lives in a very poor household.  She is a much younger wife to an older gentleman.  They have 4 children who should be attending school but due to lack of finances only one of them is able to attend.  The family received Blythe, Augassi and Mary, who thinks what is outside the pen is tastier than what is inside. Augassi has delivered a girl kid since arriving.

From a breeders point of view it was very hard to part with these lovely goats who we had watched improve so much since they first arrived.  We got to know their characters- who was friendly and who needed a little more attention than others.  Delivering them and seeing the happiness and excitement on the recipients’ faces somehow eased the hurt of parting with them.  And now they are settled in their new homes it is so good to hear when they are having babies, especially when they are girls so the herd can grow.  Their new owners are jubilant to announce when their ‘girls’ give birth. 

From all of us in Zimbabwe to all of the donors of this project, we thank you for your generous hearts.  Your support is making a big difference in the lives of vulnerable families in our community.

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We have a special report on the egg program.  Your support has made a difference as children are fed three times a week.  They are given an egg and two slices of bread.  This has helped a lot of children who couldn’t bring anything to eat at break time and lunch time. And here are some updates directly from the children and their teachers …

Thank you for paying money to support the feeding program that started at my school, we really appreciate it.  We benefit having protein and energy.  Some of the students couldn't afford to come to school with food, but then you broke the chain of hunger. May the Lord above all bless and be with you always.  Lots appreciation from Adrian

I am a boy at in primary school and I appreciate your program.  I thank you for what you have done.  I wish God will guide you.  Your program is good, because we get nutrients from the food we eat, some of us used to come to school with no food, but now they get food from this program.  We wish you will continue doing such amazing work.  Yours faithful, Rodney

Attendance has improved a lot due to feeding program.  They have gained weight and learning concentration has improved a lot.  Teacher Elaine

As a guidance and counseling teacher, I always yearn to see motivation in pupil’s lives. It boosts the self-esteem of pupils hence enabling them to tackle situations that they encounter in life.  As such the feeding program has stimulated physical growth, intellectual growth, good moral values and a healthy diet for pupils.  Teacher Abigail

A lot of under privileged children are no longer absent at school as they always look forward to the feeding program.  The feeding program has also provided oneness to the pupils around the school as on the particular day they all feed on the same type of food.  We thank you for the assistance we get as it has created a difference in our pupil’s lives.  Teacher Sam

The team here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS thanks you for supporting this project and the work we do for the children in Africa.  As you start to make decisions regarding your 2018 giving, please keep us in mind so we can continue our good work this year and beyond.  We wish you a new year full of many blessings and as much hope as you have shared with us.  If you would like to learn even more about what we do or how you can meet some of the children you have helped, please contact Tanya Weaver at

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The Cook County Sherriff’s Institute is a sixteen-week training program for incoming recruit correctional officers. Of this sixteen weeks, two are dedicated to understanding mental health, mental illness and how those topics relate to their work as future sworn officers.

Introduction to Mental Illness, a psychology 101 of sorts, encourages participates to understand what mental illness is, how common and how it may manifest through a variety of diagnoses, as well as current treatment available. This is important because at its root, the training encourages participants to use empathy, insight and perspective into how others live; inspiring officers to view without negative bias or stereotypes. This goal is then pushed further when the class starts to learn about stress management and personal mental health and wellness.

The idea of self-care is explored through the concepts of happiness, self-awareness and stress reductions techniques. Participants are encouraged to fully engage in the class through personal anecdotes, questions and answer, hands-on activities and tangible means.

The many benefits of giving are discussed, including increased happiness, health, social connection, gratitude and reciprocity.

The class is then asked to take it one step further. They are introduced to the American Foundation for Children with AIDS’ mission and how money raised will go directly to providing families with means to care for themselves. Students immediately respond to photos of previous classes and the goats and other livestock provided to families on the other side of the world. They are taking the theoretical concepts of giving and actively including them in their learning experience.

After the course, officers are sent updates and photos about the goats and other livestock, as they make their way to deserving families. To date, The Cook County Sherriff’s Institute has raised over $1200!  Instructors plan to continue encouraging each incoming class to participate in tangibly learning the benefits of giving.

Classes 1702 and 1703
Classes 1702 and 1703
Class 1704
Class 1704
Class 1705
Class 1705
Class 1706
Class 1706
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Organization Information

American Foundation for Children with AIDS

Location: Harrisburg, PA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AFCAids
Project Leader:
tanya weaver
Harrisburg , PA United States
$24,334 raised of $35,000 goal
382 donations
$10,666 to go
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