Our Goats Aren’t Symbolic; They’re Real and Changing Lives

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Goat being wrapped in wrapping paperHoliday wish lists typically consist of the latest gadgets, electronics or trendy products. People don’t often put down items like “a goat for a family.” Well, we’re here to tell you why giving a goat (or other livestock) should be at the top of your holiday wish list this year!

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Families want livestock

Plan International doesn’t decide that people should have goats – the community members decide. All of our projects are community-driven, which means local people identify the problems and challenges they’re facing, and the possible solutions. Local families highly value livestock – telling us time and time again that they see it as a great way to improve their lives.


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Animals help improve children’s health

Protein is too expensive for poor families to buy, but milk and eggs from livestock provide children with essential nutrients. Fertilizer from manure helps grow nutritious vegetables, which means better health for the whole family.


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They generate family income

Families sell milk, honey or produce from their garden to pay for healthcare and education for their children. Gifting a goat means helping provide families income for the future.

Goat project goals

The primary focus of the goat project is to assist vulnerable families with goats as an alternative source of income.

All of our Gifts of Hope products represent real projects in countries where we work. Each project can benefit multiple countries and goats are a part of two different products, so we can track impact from many different countries. In Zambia, the goat project reached over 6,000 families!

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Emely’s family built this shelter for their goats.

Here’s what happens when a family receives goats:

  • Families receive goats on a pass-on concept, which means they are required to pass-on the same number of goats they receive to another household after breeding.
  • A family member will undergo training in Animal Health Management to ensure that the goats are healthy.
  • After training, they are required to construct an improved goat shelter where goats are kept. This helps to reduce disease and improves the health of the goats.

Goats are a gateway to education

One of the beneficiaries of the goat project in Zambia was Emely, a sponsored child. Her parents struggled to send their children to school and some dropped out because of financial constraints.

“I was in grade 8 when I was given the goats; am now in Grade 12. I was not able to attend livestock management training since I was in school, so my mother attended the training. We have managed to keep them healthy and have increased in number. My parents sell the goats to pay for my and other siblings’ school fees and other requirements,” said Emely

Through the project, Emely’s family received 5 goats and within one year, they were able to pass-on the equivalent to another family.

“We are very grateful to Plan for this project. We have managed to send our children to school. We have also managed to establish a very good garden. The manure from the goats is applied in our garden.  We grow tomatoes, grape, watermelon cucumber and eggplants. Through the sales from the garden, we have managed to buy two oxen which we now use to plough our fields. We are now able to grow enough maize (corn) for sale and consumption. Through this project, am very happy that my girl child will complete school this year and will make sure she goes to College or university,” Emely’s mom

Goats are a way to reduce poverty

Overall, goats or any livestock product in our Gifts of Hope catalogue help to improve the economic and social status of the families who benefit from the respective project. They are a vital source of income and nutrition for families and enable parents to afford their children’s education. And education is key to helping children thrive!

This holiday season, consider giving a gift that literally keeps on giving and helps change lives too!

Buy a Gift of Hope!