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A primary goal of our goat and chicken projects is to provide a means of providing sustainable and growing wealth. Beneficiaries initially receive a goat or chicken in exchange for a commitment to return a replacement animal back to local leaders after the initial animals have reproduced. As the animals reproduce, new wealth is created for the initial owners and then for the subsequent beneficiary owners. The program continually expands as new beneficiaries receive an animal. Local leaders can determine the initial distribution based on need, on perceived levels of responsibility or any criteria they choose.

An important aspect to this program is that the animal represent available wealth or a store of value to their owner. Many Congolese, most Congolese in rural areas, don’t have bank accounts. Animals can replace a bank account.

Mama Dusabe with her baby goats in Rutshuru

One of our beneficiaries of the Rutshuru area goat project was the widowed Mama Dusabe. Her goat had just provided her with two baby goats. Mama Dusabe told James Kataliko that at that time her child had become seriously ill, so she sold her first goat and was able to pay the bills for the medical care of her child.

This would not have been possible without having a store of value by owning a goat.

In Congo and the poorest areas of the world, it can be virtually impossible to save money because the needs in the family or of neighbours are so great. If you have money, you are expected to help. Maintaining your wealth in the form of livestock is an ancient and enduring method of maintaining a store of value that can be accessed in a pressing time of need.

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