Got your goat shopping done?
In our Nov. 4 program, Newfoundland filmmaker Christopher Richardson told us about going to Zambia in search of the goats he had been donating in friends' names, in lieu of Christmas presents.
Della Webster of Sudbury witnessed similar gifts reaching their targets:
I enjoyed listening to your piece on the "Gift a Goat' program in Africa. From January to July of this year, I was a CUSO-VSO volunteer in Choibalsan, Mongolia. I became acquainted with a group of 10 families who had lost all their herds as a result of the last two severe winters in Mongolia. They were living in a derelict, abandoned Russian Army building which had boarded up windows and a leaky roof. Basically they were destitute. (she continues, and more letters -- click below)
Della Webster continues...
However, one of the local farmers nearby had offered them some land to grow vegetables. They asked if I could get them seeds so that they could plant in the spring. Friends and St. Thomas University students and faculity as well as the Nova Scotia Community College in Kentville donated seeds.
They planted and tended their gardens and reaped a bountiful harvest this fall. They were just so grateful for the help that they received and marvelled at the way that the Canadian seeds grew in Mongolian soil. As well, I was able to obtain 10 gers (The Mongolian herders house) for these families through World Vision Mongolia. These people now have adequate housing and food. Through the generosity of some local Mongolians, they have been given chickens and a goat. As a result of the assistance that they received, they now have hope and will continue to go from strength to strength.
Gestures like the "Gift a Goat' program assist the people who need it. The NGO's throughout the world research and do their homework so that the 'gift' goes to the people who are in need. For the most part the 'gift' gives them hope and their economic status changes dramatically. As well, this gift is sustainable. Therefore, I would urge Canadians to keep giving 'the gifts" that make such a positive difference in the lives of the poor around the world.
Derek Wilson of Port Moody added this:
I lived in Kabwe, Zambia, for two years in the mid-Seventies where I was involved in railroad management. In my spare time I was very caught up in the activities of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Zambia especially its children's magazine Chongololo. The focus of the WCSZ was to promote the protection and conservation of the amazing wildlife of Zambia.
But the majority of Zambians lived as peasant-farmers where wildlife was exploited as "nyama" (meat). Gradually I came to the realization that the WCSZ would be largely unsuccessful unless it focused on every Zambian having 'a chicken in every pot'. So I was pleased to learn that Christopher Richardson, through PLAN Canada, is doing just that by providing goats (and chickens) to peasant-farmers.
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