I am a big fan of Heifer International. When I worked with Habitat for Humanity in Uganda, East Africa from 1988 to 1989, I saw firsthand what a difference Heifer International made.
I had a friend in Uganda named Charles Matovu who introduced me to a family in Wobulenzi, Uganda, who had received a goat from Heifer International. Before receiving the goat, the family hadn’t had enough money to pay for the uniforms for their daughter and son to go to school. They also didn’t have enough money to pay the modest school tuition fees. So, like many families in Uganda, the children didn’t go to school. This is tragic and usually predicts a life of poverty for the unschooled children.
When the Secabira family received a goat from Heifer International it turned everything around. You see, goats don’t need too much maintenance. They are hearty disease resistant animals. And they don’t need much in the way of feed from a store. If you let a goat loose at the village dump it is content and will eat almost anything. And I mean anything! I’ve seen a goat eat socks! Anyhow, after the Secabira family received a goat, the daughter and son took on the responsibility of taking care of the goat, feeding it, and milking it. They also set up a small concession stand on a village corner and started selling the goat’s milk. After six months of daily sales enough money was saved from the sale of goat’s milk to buy school clothes and tuition for the older daughter. Then, eventually the goat was bred with a neighbor’s goat and the baby goats were sold in the market. Now both the older daughter and younger son could buy school clothes and pay the school tuition fees. That one goat literally transformed the futures of two Ugandan children.