Manawatu’s gen­er­ous goat gifts

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - What’s On - SAM KILMISTER

The Manawatu com­mu­nity is full of Christ­mas spirit and a small Kenyan boy’s Christ­mas miracle has come to fruition by re­ceiv­ing a goat.

In the past decade the Manawatu re­gion has gifted 371 goats to fam­i­lies in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries through ChildFund New Zealand’s Gifts that Grow cat­a­logue. More than 8000 goats have been do­nated from New Zealand.

The goats go to Zam­bia, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Viet­nam.

Robert is a talk­a­tive 8-year-old from Emali, Kenya. His fam­ily re­ceived a hy­brid goat and, as a re­sult of im­proved farm­ing prac­tices, the goats have bred and the fam­ily now have four.

Be­fore re­ceiv­ing their goat, the fam­ily were strug­gling. They rarely drank milk, and couldn’t af­ford to buy ba­sic items such as sugar and flour. The goats pro­vide the fam­ily with nu­tri­tious milk and they are able to sell the sur­plus to buy ad­di­tional food items.

The fam­ily all pitch in to help with the goats. Robert feeds them when he gets home from school, milks them and herds them safely into their pen for the night. The fam­ily hope to grow their goat busi­ness to fur­ther im­prove the lives of their chil­dren.

ChildFund New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Brown was thank­ful to the peo­ple of the Manawatu for help­ing to make a dif­fer­ence.

‘‘When you give a goat as a gift this Christ­mas you can lift a child out of poverty. For a fam­ily in a de­vel­op­ing coun­try, a goat rep­re­sents much more than a pet,’’ Brown said.

‘‘As well as pro­vid­ing a valu­able food source for fam­i­lies to feed their chil­dren, it also en­ables the fam­ily to earn an in­come and cre­ate a sus­tain­able fu­ture, free from poverty.

‘‘Priced at $50, this year ChildFund would like to see 1000 goats pur­chased.’’

PHOTO: CHILDFUND NZ/SUP­PLIED

Robert, from Kenya, with his goat.

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