Monday, December 13, 2010

Goats for the Women of Ubutwale Bwo Kubaho

After long debates among the women leaders of Ubutwale Bwo Kubaho, over the pros and cons of two final projects, that were goat rearing and dorm building, the women came to a consensus that goat rearing is the better option. Although building a dorm would create much needed housing for students in the area, appreciate in value and generate jobs and income rather quickly, the women became worried about the real cost of building the dorm and the risks that go with it. Goats, however, are easy to raise and they claim can reach all 1701 members in three years. They will purchase 100 goats in multiple installments to kick off the project. If something goes wrong, such as a goat getting sick and dying, it doesn’t put the whole project at risk – as the dorm project could.
The women are setting up a governance system for the project. A group of managers will organize the order of who gets goats when (those who are poorest will get them first) and will be responsible for collecting the first born of each goat and redistributing it. They will also take care of their group bank account where the women can save money for emergencies or starting new projects.
The goats will be used for meat (income generation and nutrition), milk (nutrition, especially for children) and manure (fertilizer for their crops).
The women are really excited and the ones who have done the most work writing proposals and meeting with our facilitator, Moses, are not even going to be benefiting directly from the project until a few years down the line. The head of the association volunteers her time for the women and only makes money through her work at a near by parish. She takes care of her own children along with orphans that she has adopted. She has been incredibly grateful and supportive of the entire MicroGrant process. Another woman who leads a sub group within the association was fighting for the goat project because there were some women in her group that are so poor that they cannot wait or risk the chance for development on a dorm when a goat could be given directly to the person and help turn around her life.

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