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Goats and Big Dreams in Kenya

empower women - Action Against Hunger

Photo: Peter Caton for Action Against Hunger, Kenya

“I love my group a lot…Every week, we learn. It has also given us that bond of love between each other,” says Rosalyn, a member of her local mother-to-mother support group in Kapkitony, northwestern Kenya. Rosalyn serves as the group’s goat-keeper, and her position is vital. The goats are the key to unlocking women’s dreams.

Three years ago, the women of Kapkitony lacked this common ambition.

“Before, we were just like normal women in the village. We didn’t have knowledge of how we can expand our minds to even start a business,” says Rosalyn as she opens the goat pen. “When Action Against Hunger came, that’s when our minds opened up. This is why we are now thinking in terms of buying goats to empower ourselves as women.”

A stream of milk-white goats come running out of a pen as the door opens. These are Galla goats: a hardy, heat-tolerant breed of goats that stand resilient even in tough climates. Prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa has killed more than three million livestock, but still, these goats survive.


Rosalyn rears Galla goats, a hardy breed that can survive harsh climates. Photo: Peter Caton for Action Against Hunger, Kenya

It all started when Action Against Hunger trained the women of Kapkitony on new ways to earn incomes. The women then came up with the idea of starting a goat business and asked for help to make it possible. Our teams provided seed funding.

“We requested some support so we can buy goats and we can continue to have milk…This milk would improve our nutrition,” says Rosalyn as she pets the goats. Goat milk is rich in Vitamin A, protein, calcium, and phosphorus.

“I love goat-keeping a lot! I love goats…First, I can get milk. Second, when I sell these goats in the market, they fetch higher prices compared to the other goats. Third, the manure from the goats helps me with my garden. So, I don’t need to spend more money on buying fertilizers.”

The ability to cultivate healthy soil without purchasing additional supplies is more important than ever, as fertilizer costs globally are being driven up by the Ukraine conflict.


Goats are a source of nutrition and income for the women of Kapkitony. Photo: Peter Caton for Action Against Hunger, Kenya

Rosalyn has been so successful taking care of the goats that the group trusts her fully with their most precious assets. The goats provide nutritious milk shared by all their families and the extra income they earn when they sell them helps put their children through school.

“It is through Action Against Hunger that the government is even adding 22 goats on top of the 30 we have. All this, because the government has seen the work we are doing through Action Against Hunger…They appreciate our efforts and will add more goats.”

The mother-to-mother support group is equipped with new knowledge about health and nutrition, and their goat business is off to a promising start. While none of the women have received formal education, their bond and the support they give each other have given them the confidence to dream bigger.

“Our future plan is to buy some land to expand the goat business. And we have plans in the future of getting land in the town where we can maybe build a guest house using the money we get from the goats,” says Rosalyn. “Action Against Hunger came and made us stronger through knowledge.”


“I love goat-keeping a lot!” says Rosalyn. Photo: Peter Caton for Action Against Hunger, Kenya

 


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