The United Nations observes 23 June as International Widows Day, to draw attention to the voices and experiences of widows and to galvanize the unique support that they need.


Many have been nonprofit organizations and foundations founded in Kenya. Each of these organisations supports one cause or another while aiming to resolve issues afflicting social or economic well-being, progress or development among communities.

A Unique Solution

The Goat Foundation offers a unique solution to address and empower a group of people that in most societies go unnoticed. For The Goat Foundation, it is all about widows. The foundation noticed a gap in the services that catered for the welfare widows. In most cases, widows were ignored and received negligible support from the societies in which they lived in, therefore, The Goat Foundation embarked on a mission to support and empower them. “How?” you might ask. Through providing hope by giving goats.

The Goat Foundation donates a pair of goats to the family of widows. One female and one male with the hope that the goats will procreate and multiply and from two goats, the recipient will get multiple goats that can support her and her family.

While marking this year’s International Widows Day, according to The Goat Foundation’s Chief Project Executive Anne Musau, the foundation projects to give 20 million goats to 10 million widows across the country in the next ten years.

The Goat Foundation’s Chief Project Executive, Anne Musau with beneficiaries of the goat giveback

Did not go Unnoticed

This great act has not gone unnoticed as women in communities that received these donations expressed their gratitude and applauded The Goat Foundation saying the donations had empowered them and made their families economically secure.

Local community leaders and those from the larger political realm have not let the foundation’s goodwill go unnoticed with most praising the efforts geared towards empowering their communities. The leaders agree that the donation of the 2 goats benefits not just the widow but also those around them as the goats procreate giving the widows an opportunity to empower themselves and those around them by sharing the produce from the goats or some even go a step further to donate a kid to another widow like themselves.

Kitui Member of Parliament – Hon. Benson Makali with other leaders and one beneficiary of the goat giveback in Kitui.

One thing the widows, community leaders, and political ones can agree on is that the efforts by The Goat Foundation could not have come at a more opportune moment. The efforts have seen a once forgotten, very important group of people are empowered and can once again smile in the reassurance that their pockets are a little heavier because of a rather unique avenue of empowerment.

Veronica Kanini speaking to the Goat Foundation


A Chance Meeting

During a donation exercise by The Goat Foundation in Kitui Central, Kitui County, I was drawn to a lady of about 30 years. She wore jeans, a gray hoodie, and open slacks that were rather too fashionable. 

I watched as she energetically marshaled her local group of widows through the set program. She embodied the enterprising hope envisioned by conveners of The goat Foundation. I made a mental note to request an interview with her and find out what her story was. 

Six months later I sat across the bubbly lady named Mwende whose story was quite an eye-opener. 

“I am a businesswoman, so I have trained myself to read a customer before they open their mouth. This intuition has guided me to succeed in business and once, it saved my life”  

The Goat Foundation

Some recipients turned their lives around and begun giving as cause capitalists


She pauses for effect to see if she has my attention and then begins her narrative. 

“Let me tell you my story. It began ten years ago when…”

Tragedy and Redemption

Mwende got married right after finishing high school. Her husband was from Mwingi, a town that was near her rural home. He worked as a clinical officer at the Level-5 hospital in that town. Musyoka (not his real name) had courted her through her secondary school and after finishing her ‘O’ level examinations, she promptly packed her bags and moved in with him.

For the next 8 years, they lived happily as a married couple though they never got to formalize their union. The one consternating factor in her marriage was her inability to conceive. Her husband’s relatives whispered loudly urging him to get another wife. Her in-laws had performed medical telepathy that somehow diagnosed her, and not Musyoka, her husband as the offending culprit in that childless union.

As animosity grew against her, her husband remained faithful and refused to entertain village ‘advisers’ who made regular trips to their homes to consult on ‘family matters.’

Tragedy struck in July 2018, she lost her husband in a road accident. He had traveled to the capital city for an interview with a large private hospital. The grief and sorrow that soon overwhelmed her were compounded by the fact that her in-laws wanted her out of her matrimonial home as soon as the burial ceremony was over. The house she was being thrown out of had been fully purchased by her husband before he died. 

Clinging to Hope

Determined not to lose everything in her life, Mwende vowed to stay put and never leave the house and property she shared with her husband. What followed was a series of orchestrated threats, beatings by unknown intruders and social media bullying and verbal assaults. It appeared like all of a sudden all members of her husband’s family had something rude to say to her. 

With no one to turn to, since she had run away from home to get married, Mwende decided to visit an old friend from school. On her way out she picked up a bottle of water that she had left standing on her table. On her way out she took a sip of the water, disliked it for tasting funny and threw the bottle away. That was the last thing she remembered. 

Waking up three weeks later in a hospital a doctor told her how lucky she had been. A good Samaritan had seen her collapse as she walked and got assistance to take her to the hospital. Mwende was quite sure who and why she had got poisoned. Her in-laws wanted the house and property left by her husband. 

After being discharged, she traveled back to her hometown in Kituyi carrying nothing but the clothes she wore on her back. 

The journey to Fulfillment

“How did you manage to survive, get an income and become the woman you are today?” I ask her.

“At first it wasn’t easy, I suffered from the side effects of those drugs. Later on, I did menial jobs for a small fee.”

Through her hard work and determination, Mwende scraped enough money to purchase a plot where she currently resided. 

“The Goat Foundation gave me hope for a prosperous future that I frankly believe in,” says Mwende with a smile. 

My two goats have been through two gestations. I have five goats. I gave one out to a needy friend. I hope that by the end of the year, I will add two more goats to my herd. If all goes according to plan, I will use these goats as collateral to get a loan and open a salon in town. 

Then she told me one of the most astonishing things I have heard in a long time. 

“My salon will offer free hair services to needy children. I will give one free service for every customer that I serve” she says confidently.

“How can you afford that?” I ask her, still stunned. 

“Don’t worry about that. The universe has plenty of abundances. You give to receive, and I believe blessings will keep coming my way as long as I keep giving.” 

She smiles brilliantly and rises to signal the end of our interview.

What a lady!

The Goat Foundation: Widows have a reason to smile


Progress Beyond Expectations

The Goat Foundation crossed milestones and made history in groundbreaking achievements that reflected the intention of their vision. By offering a pair of goats valued at $100 per family of widows, the foundation changed stereotypes about widows and transformed the thinking of entire communities about wealth and wealth creation.

A notable achievement was in the diet of families of widows who received these donations. They acquired food security and a chance for a balanced nutritional diet. The milk taken from goats was a crucial source of protein when consumed. The manure from goats was spread around vegetable gardens and this led to increased crop yields. The variety and resilience in food availability acted as insurance against starvation and hunger. 

Sustainable development brought by socio-economic empowerment

Sustainable development brought by socio-economic empowerment

Due to proper and regular feeding habits, children became healthier and were less susceptible to common infections. Healthy households implied that money that could have been spent on seeking treatment was saved or invested. Children were now able to attend school regularly, as absence due to prevented illnesses was reduced.

Education, Health and Nutrition

As mentioned earlier, families of widows started attending school regularly and were not sent home for lack of school fees. The family could now afford to sell their farm produce to pay school fees, with the knowledge that milk from goats could be harnessed to supplement their diet. 

School attendance brought new standards of hygiene, safety awareness and government recognition. In Kenya, it is illegal for a school-going child to be employed as a laborer, married off or subjected to any form of exploitation. This guaranteed legal protection to the children of widows.

The Goat Foundation has noted the uptick in commerce and vocational activities in some villages. It follows that before these donations were made, traditional players in the market were familiar with each other’s needs and trading became routine and even unprofitable.

The sudden infusion of new capital and market for goods and services revived industries that had sat idle for years. Basket making, weaving mats, fishing and a host of local industries sprung up to compete with one another. 

The social awareness that attended the emancipation of Kenyan widows made communities around them seek out other forms of social injustices and uproot them. An example is the legacy shops that for ages extorted their customers by charging exorbitant prices because of their monopoly.

The arrival of competing businesses mentioned earlier meant that old shopkeepers were shunned and new shops that offered fair competitive prices became the new hit. In the end, it benefited the rest of the community who were now able to access more goods at cheaper prices.

Environmental Sustainability & a Green Economy

These donations are also able to help widows and their families mitigate the socio-economic impact of climate change in their lives. Goats are a hardy breed and can survive drought conditions. During bountiful rains, the crops will do well and during drought, the goats would thrive, so families were cushioned against these two extremities.

In a community whose reliance on cultivated land was reduced by a fraction, there was less land cleared for agriculture and more trees planted. The practice of goat husbandry in these communities, therefore, meant that the impact of natural disasters such as floods was reduced as vegetation cover protected the soil from being washed away during heavy rains.

Children’s Rights

Widows' children have opportunities for education, training, balanced diet and legal protection.

Widows’ children have opportunities for education, training, balanced diet and legal protection.

A crucial and demonstrable impact of empowering widows through the donation of goats was the protection of children from exploitation. Families no longer required their young ones to work for food. Children could now spend their time at school or playing.

As widows became empowered and acquired a say in the community, they were now able to protect their daughters against gender-based violence, female genital mutilation and early marriages. Sexual exploitation that was visited upon needy girls especially young widows and daughters of widows was eliminated as they now had the economic means to fend for themselves. This had the impact of reducing HIV transmission, child trafficking, unwanted pregnancies and school drop-out cases. 

Clearly, a lot has been achieved, but there is more still to be done. The generosity of The Goat Foundation partners, and donors is what brought about this success. 



From Humble Beginnings Great Milestones


The socio-economic changes sweeping across villages and rural communities once visited by The Goat Foundation have been unprecedented, and according to Dominic, a community leader from Kisii town in Western Kenya, akin to a social revolution.

The donation of a pair of goats to widows and orphans in far-flung areas across the country opened societies to the potential of women, and widows in particular. Communities bore witness to the improved livelihoods and general well-being of widows, who once empowered by the initial investment of two goats, chose to apply the bargaining power that came with it towards wealth generation.   

Paradigm Shift in Perceptions

Perhaps the most cited achievement was the elimination of the inequitable gender power relations. Economically empowered widows acquired a voice and were included in decision-making in discussions that affected the community.

Loan disbursement, land rights, and inheritance rights got advocated for by community activists. By elevating widows from a whispered and shunned demographic to a celebrated group of achievers, The Goat Foundation allowed women and widows to access land ownership and resources. Widows were now able to contest for the property of their departed husbands. 

Changing lives and communities all over the country

Changing lives and communities all over the country

These attainments not only had the universal effect of eliminating extreme poverty, violence, and health risks, but they also advanced the cause of women towards education, training and awareness about their human rights. 

With the increased legal literacy, these widows are now able to confront long-standing exclusionary ideals born out of patriarchal customary and religious norms. 

During a peace and reconciliation process in Kisii County, Western Kenya, neighboring communities sat to negotiate compensation and deterrence against future atrocities. Among the items on the agenda was the payment of restitution to widows whose husbands had been killed during a raid conducted by a neighboring community.

The fact that the welfare of widows was discussed in a traditional ceremony long reserved for male community elders was a game-changing event that resonated throughout the Abagusii community.

Future Plans

The Goat Foundation has not sat on its laurels with a congratulatory grin of satisfaction. In future, they envisage a partnership with donors, Cause champions, Corporates and Businesses in endeavors across the African continent and the world. 

In the meantime, as the winds of change blow across the sunbaked landscapes of rural Kenya, it is hoped that intransigent voices of traditional patriarchy will shift their allegiance from the outdated customary norm of female domination to the caring and just idea of equality for all.

Steve Down, the founder of The Goat Foundation, his Business and Corporate partners, and friends who donate and contribute towards Cause Capitalism look forward to yet another year of fruitful engagement with widows, community leaders and all those who believe in the art of giving. 


How Cause Capitalism is solving problems caused by Capitalism and empowering communities through social enterprises.

The widening gap between the rich and poor has emerged as one of the biggest threats to the global economy.

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, the impact of Capitalism and its disruptive potential contributed heavily to the Brexit vote as well as the now controversial Donald Trump victory in the U.S presidential election.

Worsening income inequality can’t be remedied by higher economic growth alone and is casting doubt on the very future of capitalism, according to the report, which surveyed 750 business, government and academic leaders on the largest risks to the planet.

“There is a widespread sense that the growth model we’ve been following in past years does not deliver, in terms of increasing the incomes of the population,” said Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz, head of global competitiveness and risks at the World Economic Forum at a press conference.

“There is a call for a more fundamental rethink of how we generate growth and how we distribute growth.”

Income inequality has been declining for the last 30 years on a global level as countries in Asia, Africa and elsewhere play catch-up with more developed economies.

However, in large countries like the U.K., U.S., Canada, Ireland and Australia, the 1% have disproportionately benefited from economic growth.

The financial crisis only made matters worse, notes the World Economic Forum. In the U.S., economic growth has been slow, real wages have barely budged and many have missed out on an extended bull market that has been bolstered by massive quantitative easing.

“The growing mood of anti-establishment populism suggests we may have passed the stage where [reviving economic growth] alone would remedy fractures in society: reforming market capitalism must also be added to the agenda,” according to the report.

Wage disparity has also contributed to a “lack of solidarity” among people at opposite ends of the income spectrum, says the report. This polarization has manifested itself in politics and fostered concern about the ability of nations to properly function and for global collaboration to take place.

“The momentous political changes in 2016 raised worries about the health of liberal democracy that has underpinned global prosperity,” said Cecilia Reyes, chief risk officer at Zurich Insurance Group.

Politicians have blamed globalization for the loss of jobs at home, but the report emphasized the role of automation in displacing workers, calling it a key threat to the economy.

“While innovation has historically created new kinds of jobs as well as destroying old kinds, this process may be slowing,” noted the report.

With the reinvention of capitalism being a hot topic in many minds, enters to the world stage a new principle, Cause Capitalism.

According to the Father of Cause Capitalism Steve Down, many global problems can be addressed if individuals, businesses, companies and governments were to adopt his philosophy and implement it to the latter.

“We believe that a better future for the globe lies in empowering low-income and middle-income households to improve their cashflow. We believe this can only be achieved through the principle of Cause Capitalism, which is when a for- profit organization chooses as its partner a non-profit organization, not as a gimmick but as a true sustainable partner.’ Said Steve Down, Cause Capitalism Founder.

According to global reports, an estimated 698 million people, or 9% of the global population, are living in extreme poverty, that is, living on less than $1.90 a day. Over one fifth of the global population live below the higher $3.20 poverty line (1,803 million people), and over two-fifths (3,293 million people) live below $ 5.50 a day.

The goes to show that poverty is not entirely the problem of the poor, its implications affect any country’s security. Citizens unable to meet basic needs resolve to illegal activities to earn a living. Crime rate continue to soar as the living standards depreciate.

Through Cause Capitalism, Business, Entrepreneurs and Communities are brough together by the initiatives run by the nonprofit. These initiatives go a long way towards ensuring that each and every vulnerable household in the remote of places has an equal chance at wealth creation and being self-reliant in their own way.

“Through Cause capitalism, this future is safeguarded in community development. This is why our operations are not only focus on promoting financial literacy but also partnering with a non-profit like The Goat Foundation to achieve a cause for good.” Said Financially Fit, CEO Steve Down.

Governments can easily be faulted for the imbalance yet for-profit companies globally generate profits every fiscal year with out embedding safeguarding and developing the community in equal measure as a key priority. Some of the highest paid Founders and CEO walk away with millions of dollars, with the pretext of dangling a carrot in the name of corporate social responsibility, if any to the community.

“Cause Capitalism, dictates that for-profit companies set aside a fixed percentage of their gross income, to go towards community development and support” says Steve Down.

Cause Capitalism envisions countries where no one retires to bed hungry because they cannot afford food and a decent livelihood for themselves.

Additional Copy from

She dares to dream

The Father of Cause Capitalism Steve Down leads The Goat Foundation in its 5th Community Giveback of 200 goats to 100 families in Kilifi County, Kenya.

On Saturday the 23rd of April 2022, The Father of Cause Capitalism and Founder of the Goat Foundation Steve Down lead the team from The Goat Foundation in donating 200 goats to 100 widows in Mnarani Ward, Kilifi county, Kenya. The donation which targets to propagate his vision of Cause capitalism where for profit companies should choose non profit organizations not as a gimmick, but as true sustainable partners across the world seeks to ensure vulnerable widows in the community have an equal chance to wealth creation. Speaking to the media, Mr. Down said that his vision for The Goat Foundation is to reach out to the most vulnerable populations that contribute to nation-building but have limited to no wealth creation tools.

” Every person deserves a chance at wealth creation, and we are here to ensure that we provide these opportunities to the most vulnerable and marginalized communities.” said Mr. Steve Down.

In rural Africa, one in ten women above the age of 14 is widowed. At this young age with no self-sufficiency skills and children to cater to, they are vulnerable to many socio-economic challenges including sexually exploitative practices. According to research conducted by one of Kenya’s leading university, Kenyatta University, Kilifi county records the highest prevalence of child marriage at 47.4%. True to this, some of the widows who benefitted from The Goat foundation’s donation stated that they dropped out of primary school and resorted to early marriage.

“We take care of widows across low-income households because they fall under marginalized groups,” said Mr. Steve Down.

When widowed at a young age, they are left with the burden to care for their young families. While some resort to agriculture for provision, others choose prostitution or are inherited as wives to older men.

Access to equal opportunities.

Majajani area in Kilifi county in Kenya is among the poorest areas in the region. Characterized by poor infrastructure, long dry spells, water shortage, and early marriages. Goat farming in the area is believed to be exclusively for the fairly wealthy. A gift of goats to this community is to ensure the widows have equal opportunity in wealth building.

” Goats survive under any climatic conditions. Embracing climate-smart agriculture will ensure even the people who depend on agriculture will be self-sufficient,” said Mr. Steve Down.

To strengthen the local capacities of stakeholders to reduce the near-, medium- and long-term vulnerability to current and future climate variability, The Goat Foundation targets to reach out to 10 Million widows in East Africa by 2025. The gift of goats will ensure populations that were previously fully dependent on agriculture will not be affected by climate change as they can adjust to learning new and smart farming methods.

Steve Down: Creating wealth for the most vulnerable in the society ensures a balanced economy.

Steve Down’s companies are all founded on his philosophy of Cause capitalism. He argues against the doctrines of capitalism by fronting a gentler, compassionate and rewarding model. Cause Capitalism according to the Financially Fit CEO is when a for-profit company partners with a non-profit organization; not as a gimmick but as a true sustainable partner. In achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development goal of No poverty by 2030, it is necessary that profits generated by for-profit companies serve the communities they are within.

Throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, Poverty remains the biggest economic challenge in achieving economic equality. By 2015, 80% of the world’s poorest came from the region. It does not help that climate change equally continues to widen the wealth gap as the most vulnerable populations have been exposed to hunger from prolonged dry spells. Most of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa fully depend on agriculture for a living. With the unpredictable rainfall patterns’ that the region currently experiences; women and children are most at risk of facing the pangs of food insecurity.

The factors above contribute to income inequality that requires global solutions. One of Steve Down’s companies has partnered with The Goat Foundation, a non-profit organization that reaches out to low-income households in the most rural parts of Kenya to address by teaching wealth creation. The charity-based organization has experienced robust growth since its inception and has 450 beneficiaries across Kenya.

The inspiration behind the 10,000,000 empowered households by 2025.

The binding vision for The Goat Foundation is to ensure low-income households have income-generating activities that will enable them to cater for themselves financially.

Steve Down says he was inspired by the story of a young widow whom he first met while visiting Kenya. She had just lost her husband and at the time, she had no reliable source of income. With children to fend for he wondered how she was going to survive. As the members of the community contributed to the woman’s husband’s proper send-off, Steve noticed no one talked about contributing to the young family’s future.

He then asked one of the attendees what he can do to ensure the woman is self-sufficient.

“Only 2 goats will keep the widow’s children in school!”

Steve Down was shocked that a small family would only need $100 to sail them through life normally. He thought about the families that are forced to sacrifice education for their children because they cannot afford it and the disadvantaged women are left without any inheritance and knowledge on wealth creation. It is then that The Goat Foundation became a solution for poverty alleviation in rural communities.

By 2025, The Goat Foundation envisions to have reached 10,000,000 low-income and vulnerable widows in East Africa. The gift of 2 goats; a male and a female should give widows a chance to partake in wealth creation.