IN WHAT HAS BECOME something of a time-honoured tradition here, today I offer all of this site’s friends and supporters a goat, as a token of my very best wishes for Christmas and the coming year.
It’s been a tough and challenging year for the UK book trade — not just the Christian sector but across the board — but the challenges we’re up against in the UK are almost as nothing compared to those faced by families in Africa, many of whom can barely scrape a living from the land. Amou’s story is one example of the way in which goats from FARM Africa have helped to transform a family’s life:
Amou, from Southern Sudan, is a widow who cares for her three grandchildren. Because Amou lost all her livestock in a raid, her family had no access to milk or to the manure they needed to cultivate their land. They were struggling to grow enough crops to feed themselves and sell to raise money for essentials like clothing and medicines.
FARM-Africa provided five goats to Amou, and many of the other women in similar situations – giving them the start they needed to develop their businesses once again. Amou’s goats produced nine offspring, five of which she returned to FARM-Africa for redistribution to other vulnerable households. Thanks to her new livestock, Amou and her grandchildren have access to nutritious goats’ milk. The manure has helped the family grow a very good crop of sorghum. With the money she will earn from selling surplus crops, Amou intends to buy a heifer so that her family can have even more milk.
Just a few goats have transformed Amou’s life. She says, “Now people are respecting me in their meetings because I also have goats like them. They no longer call me a poor woman. My life has changed. I am a woman now.”
For me, a story like that beats any number of Christmas cards or other frippery hands down every time; and so to everyone who has helped to make running both UKCBD and this blog not only viable but worthwhile: thank you. May you, your families and friends experience the joy of many goats this Christmas and for many years to come.