Goat Project : updates and news

It has been while since our last updates on the goat project. I reported that we had, had our very first baby goats and I am back with even more news.

 

 

 

New Kids on the block : As you will see from the photos above, we now have 7 kids (3 females & 4 males)  as the goats started delivering in December. The icing on the cake thus far, is the birth last month of female twin kids by Maria’s goat.   We do need more female kids as these are the ones we pass on to widows waiting in the queue for a goat of their own. The new round of distribution will be in July when the new borns  are six months old. The selected widows have started work on goat shelters. 

 

Milk production:  Most of the women whose goats have delivered have access to at least 1 pint of milk every day. But some  are not milking their goats at all such as Merida whose goat gave birth during the dry season and Maria whose goat had twins.  

Crossbreeding program 

goat
Alejandro

The other part of our program is crossbreeding. Through this program, everyone in the district is able to crossbreed their local goats with the three 100% pure diary bucks. The aim of this program is to create a new breed of goats. 

The bucks have been busy,

  • Alejandro has four offsprings (3 females and 1 male) and mated 3 new females in February.  The community is super impressed with the offsprings  and have started spreading the word about the program in the nearby villages of  Migorora, Kakiizi and Nyamuhani.
  • Force has mated 2 females so far and  has  2 offsprings which are males. 
  • Ronaldo has mated 2 females so far and has 1 offspring which is a female. 

A word from our program manager 

The widows are extremely happy with the program and have shared this with the local leaders as well as those in the community that are not yet part of this program

The women who have milk have different opinions: Lydia is enjoying it very much, Vairot says it is ok and Jovannis says it tastes different to the one from cows but is still drinking it. 

Take up of the crossbreeding loan is still low in the villages of Rwentojo and Kytinda where Force and Ronaldo live. It would appear the communities there are not aware of the program we therefore need to run a program campaign

The kids are developing well with the exception of the male from Merida’s goat – it’s a 25% male which didn’t seem to get enough milk at the beginning of its life.

It seems half of the widows take their goats with them to the gardens so they’re on a semi-free range systems.  Although  the 50% goats can live like a local goat but it’s better to keep them in a zero grazing environment if possible to maximise the amount of milk they produce.

We are all looking forward to the day when more families can readily access milk as part of their diet. 

For regular updates about this and our other programs, please keep an eye on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LetThemHelpthemselves/

International Women’s Day, Hashtags and Ultra poor women

It is International Women’s Day today and the question I am preoccupied with today is whether such days help ultra poor women in any meaningful ways. In the current times of hashtags the International Women’s Day has its own hashtag #IWD2017 or if you prefer #IWD17. 

But are hashtags enough to effect the sort of change ultra poor women are looking for? Do such women get to see hashtags and social media memes? 

Ultra poor women are said to 

  1. have no assets to generate their own income
  2. engage in casual labour
  3. and are poorly paid.

As far we are concerned here at LTHT, hashtags are not enough and International Women’s Day should mean more and be inclusive.

We have over the last year and half focused on providing ultra poor women with assess to generate their income.  We believe that

decent work is central to women’s #economicempowerment given its inherent importance to women’s well being and ability to advance in areas such as acquiring income and assets – ODI”

international women's day
Night with her goats

This has had an impact in the lives of women such as Night  Barema who have managed to increase their income from £2.43 to £17 a month. You can read about Night’s story here 

International women's day
Agnes- menstrual hygiene ambassador

Today, women and girls in rural Uganda cannot access information and materials to manage their menstruation. It is International women’s Day 2017 and yet some school girls still use leaves during their periods, miss 2.6 days of school each month and women use rags. To that end we launched a menstrual hygiene program last year to change this but we still have a long way to go. 

You can read about our program at http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.org/index.php/menstrual-hygiene-management-in-ntungamo-secondary-schools/

international women's day
Lydia

Widows and older women in rural Uganda are vulnerable to poor diet as they are almost always the last to eat. We started a goat program that provides an income generating asset to such women and gives them access to milk in their diet. 

As we celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, we should reconsider where and on what we focus on as hashtags will not help ultra poor women. This day should also be about equality for women regardless of their social and economic standing. We can make a real difference in those women’s lives with very little input.