Goat Project : updates and news

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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/

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The goats are here

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After weeks of preparation the goats finally arrived.

goats

Keeping them on the truck was not an easy task

Widows waiting for their goats
Widows waiting for their goats. Some of the widows are so elderly, they sent their sons to represent them.

 

deworming
deworming

Before distribution all goats had to be tagged, deworm them, provide a preventative antibiotic treatment to ensure their adjustment to the new area and environment goes smoothly and trim their hoofs.

goat

This is Lydia from Nyamuhani.  Lydia is one of the widows that received a goat from the goat loan project. She is also one of the people looking after one of the bucks for the goat breeding program. Her female goat is mature enough and she was encouraged to keep her together with the male for a couple of days… We may have our first kid on the way pretty soon.

 

Maria
This is Maria from Migorora. Her daughter died right after delivering her baby girl so Maria used goat’s milk to feed her for almost a year. She’s now a beautiful young lady. Maria is the program’s strongest ambassador for this reason.

 

Jovanis

Jovannis is from Kakiizi. She’s got experience raising goats and currently has 2 female goats that she’s hoping they get on heat soon so she can take them to Alejandro one of the  pure breed male our project manager is hosting

Kalanzi from Joy goat

Kalanzi, the JOY goat development trainer, has taught Osbert how to handle the goats for the different treatments – especially hoof trimming and injecting them.

 

follow up training session

Following the goat distribution, there was further training about the care of goats as well as record keeping, in particular how often the goats mate as well as proper feeding.

Keep an eye on this space for updates

 

 

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Diary Goat Crossbreeding Program

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It has been exciting day in Ruhanga. The goats arrived.

goat
Widows waiting to receive a goat

As well as the goat loan project for widows, we have a dairy goat crossbreeding program. This program will enable owners of local goats in Itojo Sub-County to crossbreed them with purse breeds to produce 50% diary goats which ensure owners can access milk..

goats

This is Ronaldo. he is a 9 months old Saanen  and he will spend the next year and half in the village Kytinda mating goats from Kytinda and Rwentojo

goat
Force

This is Force. He is a 10 month old Toggenburgh. He will spend 18 months in Nyamiko and will mate with goats in Nyamiko, Kibingo and Rwemihanga.

goat
Alejandro

Alejandro is a 10 month Alpine buck.  He will be looked after by Os the program manager and will mate with goats in Migorora, Nyamuhani, Ruhanga and Kakiizi

goats
crossbred females

These are some of the 50% females that were distributed to the widows.

goats

The goats had to dewormed and tagged and treated for stress due to change of environment

goats

The program manager will visit each goat tomorrow and provide a multivitamin shot to ensure proper transition to the new area.

We will provide further updates in the next few days. Keep an eye on this space..

 

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Sewing classes : End of term one

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It is end of term at the Skills development initiative. The girls  Not in Education, Employment or Training are learning about fashion design and how to sew. At the end of term, the results are amazing

sewing
Maria and the girls

As part of their assignment during term one. The girls are pictured here in the skirts they’ve made this term. According to Maria, the girls  are so happy and proud of their achievements.

sewing
Makline and the girls

Makline the teacher, deserves credit for taking the girls from zero sewing skills to where they are now. New friendships have been formed and the girls have grown in confidence

sewing class

Credit to these girls for taking up this opportunity to learn a new skill. At the end of the course, they will have a choice to either start their own enterprise or work for someone else using the skills they have learned.

We would like to offer this opportunity to many more such girls in Itojo Sub-county. You can support our efforts by making a donation to our fundraising at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/skills4girls

 

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End of year Report from LTHT

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Christmas is a few weeks away and we thought this would be a good time to not only wish you a Merry Xmas but also share with you some of our achievements  in Ruhanga -Uganda in 2015

Our focus in 2015 has been the individual through our Skills Development Initiative (SDI)

As part of SDI, girls in Ruhanga learned how to make sanitary towels that were then distributed to 37 teenage girls in the village
http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.org/index.php/skills-development-initiative-tailoring/

In August, we met with some of the girls who benefited from the program and their mothers. Here is how we got on
http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.org/index.php/menstrual-hygiene-in-rural-uganda/

Women in the village: Following the August review of the first phase of SDI, it became apparent that women had been largely excluded from previous interventions and that we  didn’t know enough about their needs.

We sought to change this in Phase 2 through a series of meetings with the women facilitated by Maria and Alex.

There is now, a new and more inclusive women’s group and agreement amongst the group on initiatives that  will enable them to increase their income and acquire new skills.

Alex explains http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.org/index.php/2015/10/

One of those initiatives is the poultry initiative and 30 women  have signed up already. Through this initiative, women will  acquire skills in semi intensive poultry keeping and increase their income from 40p to roughly £1.76 a week

Alex has carried out home assessments of all the women who have agreed to be part of this initiative.  From the information gathered, we have gained an insight into the level of financial and practical support participants  will need to succeed.

We also have an understanding of what it will cost us to set up.

We need to raise a further £1500 to get the initiative off the ground. We are therefore running a campaign called SEND A CHICKEN TO AN AFRICAN WOMAN. A donation of £2.50 can make a huge difference.

To support this initiative please visit our campaign pages at

http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.org/index.php/send-a-chicken/

or

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/sendachicken

We also set up a bursary for women in Ruhanga to learn how to use a sewing machine. We currently have four women enrolled on this programme.

We will provide feedback on their progress in the new year.

London Marathon: Our application for a space at next year’s London Marathon was successful. We have a space and  our runner is Jenn Dutton  and this is her fundraising page http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JenniferDutton1 .

Please show her some love by sharing her page

 

For regular updates about our work in Ruhanga, please visit our Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/LetThemHelpthemselves/

 

Thank you for being part of our journey in 2015. We wish you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

Alex, Freda, Julie, Maria, Sadia and Ida

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Unleashing the Skills Development Initiative Phase 2: Improving incomes for rural women in SW Uganda

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Following a successful launching and implementation of the Skills Development initiative: Phase one, LTHT’s in country team did an extensive study on the skills gaps amongst young people in Ruhanga.

It was agreed that computing skills and basic sewing skills could kick start the initiative as a way of addressing the lack of access to jobs for young people in Ruhanga village from a purpose built Vocational Skills Centre.

As it turned out, the initiative’s goals were satisfactorily met as 45 girls and 51 boys were introduced to computers, Micro soft word and Spread Sheets. A total of 6 boys and 18 girls were also trained in basic principles of sewing. 15 girls were also trained in the initial stages of re- usable sanitary towels making. In addition to the above, 5 local women and 3 local young men had a chance to partake on basic computing skills at gratis.

On Wednesday 11 August, 2015, we were privileged to host Ida Horner, Chairperson LTHT and her colleague Paige at Ruhanga.

During their visit, we discussed, among other things, the highs and lows of Phase one and the way forward  as well as how best we could unleash interventions that have an impact on the women’s livelihoods as the interventions that were being implemented at that time did not have a direct impact on the women’s economic empowerment.

Thus it was deemed fit to bring on board interventions that would serve the above purpose. We, the in country team had a series of discussions and several mini surveys to get it from the women themselves on what interventions, they think could best improve the livelihoods of local women in villages such as Ruhanga SW Uganda.

The Chairperson OF KAMINYA addressing one of the meetings
The Chairperson OF KAMINYA addressing one of the meetings

Having established various ideas from the local women, we found it necessary to bring these women together in the first place as Henry Ford once said:

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

As it turned out,  local women formed a group of 30 women under the name “KAMINYA TUKORE WOMEN’S GROUP“. KAMINYA stands for the initials of the three village cells in Ruhanga i.e.KA  for ”Kankizi cell” MI for “Migorora cell” and NYA for “Nyamuhane cell” whereas TUKORE means “we work”. This group chose its steering committee and we consider this a success on our side owing to the fact that Ruhanga houses several women’s groups with different backgrounds.

Having addressed the said divisions amongst various women’s groups in the community, we are certain that it will enable them to reach a common position with respect to articulating their needs as a community, participation and engagement in income generating activities.

After a series of village meetings (facilitated by the LTHT in country team) that have lasted three months, we are now ready to commence the first intervention – Poultry farming. A key consideration of this initiative is to ensure that the women are accountable to each other via their elected leaders who will have responsibility for the day to day outreach work to enable each woman taking part in the study to succeed.

Local Women's Meeting
KAMINYA Tukore Women’s meeting

By the end of the initial six (6) months; it is projected that 30 women will be proficient in poultry keeping and the income of these women will have increased by £7.45 a month.
We shall keep you posted on the new developments!

 

You can support our journey by making a donation at

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/skills4girls

 

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Dipping and uplifting for Ruhanga

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The Facebook Page “Ruhanga” was established to keep those who have stayed in Ruhanga and developed a relationship with the community up-to-date with events and developments there.

There was a broad view that posts on the page wouldn’t continually ask readers to dip into their pockets, but perhaps inevitably, in an area rich in aspiration but poor in cash terms, sometimes a little “dipping” is required!

Women's group
Ruhanga Women’s Group- Uganda

Most will be aware that girls and women in the area carry out a “traditional” role despite child raising, generating family income through farming and shouldering other responsibilities whilst holding the family together often in the face of chronic adversity.

Reflecting official government moves to eliminate discrimination against women in official policy and practice, with a Ugandan lawyer, Rebecca Kadaga, being the current Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda and the introduction of a policy that one woman will represent each district on the National Resistance Council in Uganda.

Women in Ruhanga have established their own empowerment project that provides advice and support to women there about how to increase their income and how to save for the future, to enable them to take control of their own lives and destinies whilst teaching more girls in the community how to help bring control to their lives through sound investment and business ideas.

The charity Let Them Help Themselves has been at the forefront of providing support and assistance to such initiatives and one of their current campaigns is to ensure that girls in Ruhanga acquire marketable and transferable skills to enable them to have an equitable chance of accessing work and/or creating their own employment opportunities in the local economy.

As part of this they have been working with the community and other stakeholders to develop a skills development provision where girls can access vocational training in bike repairs, tailoring and computer skills.

This centre is now running successfully thanks to the support of those like yourself and is in need of expansion to ensure the girls have the necessary access to the training and equipment they require.

Whilst the girls and women in Ruhanga can provide the hard work and commitment, they simply cannot afford to build infrastructures such as classrooms and so need to reach out to friends such as yourself to help secure that better future that will cascade down the generations.

Can you dip into your pocket and make a contribution to give the local economy in Ruhanga an uplift?

If you can, please do so through the link below.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/skills4girls

Please express your interest in this initiative by giving ~ even just a little.

Thanks.

 

 

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African Inspired event in aid of Sanitation matters to girls

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A special African Inspired Dinner event is happening in Walton on Thames, Surrey on 18th October to raise money for project in Uganda that is providing training and skills for girls – specifically providing new sanitation and toilets at training workshops. Read more

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Skills for adolescent girls in Ruhanga SW Uganda: Part 2

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In december 2013 I told you about an initiative for adolescent girls in Ruhanga SW Uganda . I am revisiting this issue because of its importance and the contents of a report by the U.S. Agency for International Development  on the condition of Uganda’s Youth. Read more

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