December 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Events, News, SOLID Newsletters

goatsIn May, 2012 Karen Hopping Siu of West Vancouver and Rita Burbulevicius from Salt Spring Island visited Kakamega in Western Kenya.  They were there to carry out a number of projects chief amoung, which was the delivery of goats to HIV+ mothers.  This is the second year that goats have been delivered from the good people of Salt Spring.  A total of nearly 300 goats have been delivered over the two years.  The goats are bought from the SOLID Exchange for $57 each.

Marie Mackay of North Vancouver, who lives in Kenya for 6 months of every year, organizes the process.  A qualified Kenyan buys the goats at the local goat markets, introduces the nannies to the pure-bred billies who are part of the project, and then transports the pregnant nannies to various HIV+ mothers’ organizations, which exist throughout the country.

Marie reports:”2012 was another good year for goat giving. In Shianda district, where several groups have been given goats, the groups have decided to form a cooperative to help members in developing a market for goat’s milk, meat, and dung.  The money goes back to the owners.  Any profits are used for micro-loans to members to expand their economic base.

“One positive outcome that may be attributed to the program is that the number of people in the area going for HIV testing has increased 300% and the incidence of stigmatization has decreased because of it”

Karen and Rita were overwhelmed by the joy shown by the Mothers when they received their goats at the goat giving ceremonies.  As Karen says, ”the women gathered and danced and sang their hearts out” in appreciation of this gift from Salt Spring, from people who didn’t know them and who lived halfway around the world



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