Mar­mite the black goat melt­ing hearts

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JAMES PASLEY

Not yet a month old, Mar­mite the lit­tle black goat, is on his way to celebrity sta­tus af­ter be­com­ing a World Vi­sion ’’Smiles’’ am­bas­sador, help­ing the char­ity pro­mote goats as gifts for vul­ner­a­ble fam­i­lies around the world.

Goats help pro­vide fam­i­lies with milk, meat and ma­nure, as well as a source of in­come through sell­ing off-spring.

Mar­mite was dis­cov­ered three weeks ago at just a few days old wan­der­ing alone around lime­stone cliffs on a farm in North Waikato by Stuff jour­nal­ist Amanda Sax­ton who was round­ing up sheep.

She scooped Mar­mite up and called her news editor David Gadd who al­ready owned two goats, and some­where in the short time since, his star po­ten­tial was no­ticed.

Gadd’s 12-year-old daugh­ter Imo­gen said hav­ing a goat as a pet was fun but she recog­nised that goats also had the abil­ity to trans­form the life of a fam­ily in need.

‘‘That’s why we sup­port the World Vi­sion Smiles gifts. Giv­ing op­por­tu­nity sure beats giv­ing socks.’’

On Thurs­day Mar­mite was a guest on TV One’s Break­fast show and he even has his own Twit­ter page fea­tur­ing pho­tos and videos of his day to day ac­tiv­i­ties.

World Vi­sion chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Clarke said in com­mu­ni­ties where the or­gan­i­sa­tion works goats had the power to change the life of a fam­ily.

‘‘Liv­ing in poverty of­ten means liv­ing close to the edge where any change in cir­cum­stance can have a huge ef­fect on a fam­ily’s life. The eco­nomic re­source, nutrition and in­come of a goat pro­vides fam­ily’s we work with se­cu­rity to over­come those chal­lenges.

‘‘If you give a goat, that gift won’t be for­got­ten. A fam­ily in Myan­mar will never for­get be­ing given a goat.’’

Mar­mite, who is now teething, has also be­come a vi­tal part of the Gadd fam­ily, tak­ing turns sleep­ing with ei­ther seven-year-old Zoe, or older sis­ter Imo­gen.

Zoe would like it to be known that she is the prin­ci­pal mother of Mar­mite, and came up with the name be­cause of his dark coat re­sem­bling the favourite New Zealand break­fast spread.

Zoe’s favourite thing to do with her goat child is to feed him bot­tled milk. Some­times she takes him out­side to play.

The only thing that Mar­mite can do wrong is gnaw the Christ­mas tree.

‘‘He eats the Christ­mas tree, he eats ev­ery­thing,’’ Zoe said.

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