Oxfam Unwrapped helps put people in touch with life-changing goats in more ways than one.
Before goats were distributed in his village, life was difficult for Americo. A reliable source of income was hard to secure, and as a result, the threat of hunger was constantly looming.
“My wife and I used to carry wood for other people,” said Americo.
“We would earn 200 meticas for three days work. It was a very difficult time. Sometimes we would survive on masala fruit from the forest to stop the hunger … I lost a lot of sleep worrying about hunger.”
But since the introduction of goats, the residents of Nhongue village have access to several streams of income. Many breed and sell the goats at the market, but in each community that receives the goats, someone is identified and trained in veterinary skills. In this case, it was Americo.
As a community veterinary promoter, Americo now has a reliable source of income; one that’s changed the life of his family forever. “My life has improved since I was taught to be a vet,” said Americo.
“Shopkeepers didn’t want to sell me food as they knew I didn’t have a proper job and didn’t believe that I would be able to pay. Now I won’t ever have to ask people if I can carry their wood to make a small amount of money to buy food.”
Americo and others like him are responsible for promoting the health and good care of the goats and chickens that have been distributed. They also give medical support to sick animals and help with vaccinations and tick infections.
“I’m very happy now. Things have changed in my life. I’ve done lots of things. I’ve built a new 1 bedroom house with a tin roof for my family and I bought a huge cabinet. Before I couldn’t afford to do things like that but now I can sell the tick medicine and I can afford to buy these extra things. My life has changed dramatically,” said Americo.
Before his training and the arrival of the goats, Americo and his family worked odd jobs so they could afford to eat. Now, he watches with pride as his six children receive the education he’s always wanted for them.
“I’m very proud. My father had 12 children and I am the only one who’s been able to put all of my children through school,” said Americo.
“My eldest son is also now at a technical school where he is learning about engineering. I have six children and my wish is to send them all to college.”
You can help continue this kind of work by supporting Oxfam Unwrapped; charity gift cards that can make a huge difference to people like Americo. Buy a goat for someone special this holiday season.