One aspect of Leadership Council training involves the members of the Leadership Council selecting and implementing a project using $1,500 in seed money provided by us as part of the training.
The project the Dumas Leadership Council chose was raising goats. The Council was clear that the goal of this project is to feed their village as its first priority, which is an admirable goal.
Twenty-four goats were purchased and are able to graze on 20 acres of land, which was offered by a villager who “wanted to contribute to his community”. He also donated the use of the building, pictured above, to pen the goats.
The plan is to raise/breed the goats for two years to build up a herd. They intend to sell off a majority of the male goats shortly after they are born, keep the female goats for breeding, and then after two years give newly-born female goats to needy families, helping that family breed its goats. Part of the proposed retraining will result in the Council working through/providing a multi-year plan with projections of herd size, costs and benefits.
The women are responsible for providing water for the goats, and a wage of $50/month is paid for that service. For now, the goats are grazing off this fenced 20-acre parcel, but the agronomist said they wanted to feed the goats concentrated food at some time in the future. If a solid plan can be put together with the retrained council, we recommend purchasing another 100 goats in the future.
“We started with 24 goats and we will breed them for two years. The majority of the female goats are pregnant now, so this is a good sign. After two years of developing the herd as a center of production, we will sell both male and female goats – retaining some, of course, to continue the cycle of production.”
“We have very poor people, here, and we thought we would GIVE the most needful a goat and help them breed it. But, we see your point that each family should contribute something toward getting the goat.”
A project like this furthers our goal of nurturing self sustaining communities for the families in the villages where we work. We are grateful to donors who support our education/training and agricultural programs. Their gifts make it possible for us to fund and implement this type of program.
Update: The expansion of this project the leadership council requested was approved for funding by the Hope for Haitians Board in January of 2020. Project implementation will take place in this same year.