Goat Rearing Sustaining Sabina’s Household in Abim District, North Eastern Uganda

Goat Rearing Sustaining Sabina’s Household in Abim District, North Eastern Uganda

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Family members with goats under their care

Sabina Menhya, 40, beams with a smile as she receives us in her home. She is a mother 10 children between 2 to 21 years of age. The family was even bigger before, but sadly, Sabina has lost two of her children to malaria. For a living Sabina and her husband Mathias Okiru, 44 grow beans, maize and sunflowers in a small garden in their home in a small village called Nyakwae, in North Eastern Uganda. They earn less than a dollar a day, since the harvest is seasonal. Sabina is among the women Uganda Red Cross targeted to empower through a sustainable livelihood goat rearing project, to support her large family. Sabina was vulnerable.

She lived in a dilapidated, grass thatched hut that housed her and her children under one roof. Her children had very little food to survive on and were very malnourished. Uganda Red Cross, with funding from the German Federal Government through the German Red Cross, started implementing livelihood programs targeting vulnerable women in East and North eastern Uganda. Abim district was chosen among the project implementation areas. Unique to mention, women in this part of the country are bread winners in their homes. “I was selected to benefit from this project of rearing goats.

Sabin (second left) with her family members at home

The goats were 30 and we formed a group to rear them as a team. Feeding them was not easy, but when we collect feeds as a team, it is easier. When the goats multiplied, each family took their share equally and now Sabin takes care of her goats together with her family members. She has given her goats names. They remind her of joy, development, change and the improved life that the family has attained. “I call my favorite goat “Bia konyi” which means come and I help you. These goats have helped me. I can’t lack anything now, since they are a source of my joy.” Sabin smiles.

In Sabin’s family, children play a vital role in caring for the animals too. During school holiday, the boys take them to graze, the girls ensure that they have peelings and the parents provide water. The Red Cross introduced a new way of building in the community and Sabina’s family now has more than three flood resistant huts. They no longer build weak huts that can submerge in water when it rains. “When we selected the needy families to benefit from, we took them for a training in farming and helped them to become more sustainable, and to plant crops in and out of season.

We also taught them how to build strong huts since this place is prone t floods. , says Stephen Opolot, Uganda Red Cross Climate Change and Adaptation Project Officer. Today Sabin is happy. Her children are in school and the family is able to meet other needs as well. “I look at the goats as source of wealth. When our son is going to marry, we will use some of the goats to pay the bride price, ” says Mathias, Sabin’s husband.

Sabin with her husband and their very treasured goat

URCS Contacts

Plot 551/555 Rubaga Road.
P.O. Box 494, Kampala Uganda.
Tel:     (256) 414 258701
Tel:     (256) 414 258702
Email: sgurcs@redcrossug.org

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