Tag Archives: goat

Lovely’s Goats

Melinda, John, Helene, Peter, Caitlin

The team made it back from Haiti!

Tired, but encouraged.

The goat program is really making a difference for the students. They are growing their herds, selling the males in the market to buy more females, taking pride in their work. It is such a wonderful sight to see a student walking 3 or 4 or 5 goats to us for their checkup.

This is a mama goat with her daughter and granddaughters

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“You look like you’re coming off an international flight”

Goat Team (minus Melinda)

As the four of us followed the long line of people heading to airport security, a TSA agent said “Where are you coming from?” When we responded “South Jersey,” she looked surprised and said “you look like you’re coming off an international flight.” We knew we were tired (we all had an hour or less sleep) but we didn’t realize HOW bad we actually looked ūüėČ 

Our morning started just after midnight and by the time we saw the TSA agent, we had already driven up to JFK, parked off-site, took a shuttle and stumbled through tagging our checked bags properly. 

Honestly, I am really too tired to head out again. I only had three full days Stateside since Panama and a lot of that time was just unpacking Panama and packing Haiti. It will be a quick trip though, so it will all be fine. I just feel a little “old” on these back-to-back projects. 

We are heading back to Haiti for the goat program (finally!). We really feel like this is a bit of a “re-start” of the program. We lost two dozen-ish goats in Hurricane Matthew (the reports are not clear so we will know for sure when we arrive in Marbial). We are also having trouble purchasing goats now because of the hurricane – no one has goats for sale since so many died in the region. We are supplementing the program with offspring from our former student’s goats. 

I’m glad to be back and glad to get some information about the students and the goats. We want to evaluate how the program is doing and see what changes, if any, we can make for the future. 

Our team is a mix of old and new. We have a new trainer, Melinda, from GA. Melinda will join Helene in teaching the goat care lecture and evaluating the goats. We also have a new helper- Helene’s husband, Peter. Peter will work with John in goat care and construction. 

We will be completely off-grid up in the mountains, so this will be our only post until we return home.

We can still send a receive messages via our satellite messenger. Just click here to send us a message.

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Better grades for goats

I got home early yesterday morning from a short (productive) project in Haiti!

This was Phase 2 of the Gift a Goat program started last year by me and my sister, Helene.

We had Dana and John return with us for their second time in Marbial and Chelsey joined us for her first time volunteering abroad. Our team worked together well and we were able to split up to work on different aspects of the project.  Dana and Helene focused on training the new students who will be recipients of the Phase 2 goats (35 goats) while also checking on the Phase 1 goats.  Chelsey, John and I worked on the Phase 2 goats by checking, tagging and deworming them.

We were all so excited to see the students from our December trip bringing us their goats to check and showing off some babies that were born while we were gone. ¬†The students took really good care of their goats and they were very healthy. We did lose one goat out of the 32 given to students, but we expected that might happen. There was an illness killing goats all over the mountain. Ours survived while most others did not.¬†The loss of goats from larger herds increased the price we paid for our Phase 2 goats at the market. We were only able to purchase 30 goats with the money that should have bought us 37 goats. “Supply and demand” even in the most remote places. The good news is that another organization donated 7 goats so our number of goats for students stayed the same!

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Haiti, here we come!

We are heading back to Haiti today! Phase 2 of the Goat Program!

We are giving 32 more goats to the students in Marbial, treating and tagging the goats, providing more training to the student and community  and checking the goats we brought into the community in December, 2014.

Check out the video below to see Phase 1:

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I just want to thank you all who helped make the first phase of “Gift a Goat” so successful! We currently have 35 female goats in the community being cared for by the students themselves with 32 more goats funded (but not yet purchased). In addition, 10 female goats and 1 male¬†goat (billy goat) were purchased by the school to help set a good example to the students (and the billy goat will be available to the students when it is time for breeding). I would love it if you could take 3 minutes and 43 seconds to watch this video I put together to show Marbial (the remote community), the students, the goat committee, trainers and the goats themselves. ¬†It is the best way I can take you into the community that you supported.

Lastly (yet most important), thank you all for keeping Helene in your prayers. She had amebiasis. She was treated with strong antibiotics and was better by Christmas Eve. The bugs inside caused a lot of pain for the past 3 weeks, but she is not deterred from returning to Haiti in March for Phase 2 of the goat project. Helene (and teammates) will be returning to offer more training to the community and bring more supplies to maintain the health of the goats.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

‚̧ Caitlin

 

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4 packs instead of just 1

IMG_3029.JPGI am heading back to Haiti with a small team (Helene, Dana & John) to launch Phase 1 of the “Gift a Goat” program!

With your partnership in funding, we were able to raise enough money for 67 goats!!! We will not get all the goats during this first phase, but plan to start out with about 35 now and add to the herd slowly over the next few months.

Helene and Dana will be teaching seminars daily to the students and community members on goat care, breeding, first aid and milking in the morning and tagging/handling the goats in the afternoon. John and I will be helping with the actual goat tagging and physical care as well as hygiene education.

Traveling with so many people has made it possible for us to bring additional supplies for the community in Marbial. Besides all the goat health and care items, we packed up hygiene supplies and 20 canisters of iodized salt to help with the iodine deficiency in that village. To read more about why iodized salt is so important, check out this link: http://data.unicef.org/nutrition/iodine

We will be completely off-grid in Marbial, so please remember us in prayer this week. We are praying for safety, health and that the training is received well. We are also praying that the goat transfer goes well – we are buying the goats locally, but they are still quite far from the village and will need to be walked/carried to Marbial. We are not exactly sure what to expect when we finally arrive, but that is typical working abroad ūüėČ

Au Revoir!

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Gift a Goat

students in Marbial, Haiti

students in Marbial, Haiti

Back in April, I wrote about a goat project for students scheduled tentatively for December of this year.  It is no longer tentative! I launched the crowd-funding site yesterday, Helene (my sister) is developing the training program, the team has been assembled and we have set the project date for December 2nd Р9th!

Check out this link – GIFT A GOAT – to get more information and buy a goat for a student in Haiti.

What Do We Need?

Our fundraising goal is 45 goats, at $100 per goat, to each graduating student in the remote mountain village of Marbial, Haiti.

Why a Goat?

A goat can provide so much for each family, starting with nutrition from their milk, which can be directly consumed or made into cheese and other dairy products. The goat can also produce income from successfully breeding and selling the offspring, a single goat can produce 2-3 kids (baby goats) per year. The families can also utilize the natural fertilizer that the goat produces for their gardens, which provide most of their food.

Our Vision

Our vision is to see that a goat is given to each child in 7th and 8th grade in Marbial.  While 8th grade is the highest level of education currently available to them, there is the risk that, as each child gets older, they will stop attending school so that they can help their families.

Training

Our goal is to equip these older students with training in basic animal maintenance and husbandry so that they can keep their goat healthy, producing and making money to support the family.

This project is about making a long-term difference in the lives of these children and families. The children, families and any other villagers from neighboring mountains are going to be lectured and taught hands-on for 4 days on proper care of their goats, breeding, medical care and agriculture enrichment by Helene and her college friend, Chelsey (a fellow animal-science graduate) with a team of livestock volunteers.

Our Partner in Haiti

Thanks to the hard work of one woman, Marliane Alix, there is now a school that provides education to the children of Marbial.  It is no easy task.  For example, some children must walk 2 hours (one-way) to make it to that single school in the rural mountains.  These students are actually very privileged because they can attend up to 8th grade, which already puts them above the average education level.  Marliane started that small school 8 years ago with a handful of kindergarteners and now it educates 400 students going up to the 8th grade. Marliane is our in-country partner and will be arranging the logistics of the training seminar and getting the goats to Marbial.

Education Statistics

In Haiti, Secondary School is for children ages 12-18 years old.  According to UNICEF, only 29.1% of females and 21.6% of males attend Secondary School. The cost of pursuing education is usually too high for students to even consider.  UNIFEF reports that estimated annual school costs average US$131 per child (including uniform, books/materials and transportation).

Our Team from the States

Helene & Peter Pelosi, Caitlin Terry, Chelsey Argo and John Souto

Other Ways You Can Help

Share our link on your social media sites and via email to help spread the word and give goats to students!

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