” My mother is 94 years old. She cannot walk much so I have come here to represent her and thank The Goat Foundation for their donation.” Says a bubbly Steven Matheka.
When Kalama was identified as our 5th giveback area, we were excited to meet the widows. In the area, the red soil would occasionally mix with the wind and blow towards the hilly slopes of the region. A closer look at the vegetation indicated how climate change had negatively impacted the area. Farmers had resorted to planting drought-tolerant crops like sorghum, pigeon peas, and millet. Previously, maize and bean plantations could be seen from afar. But farmers had learned to adapt to the harsh weather patterns.
” We are a family of 7. Our father died in 2000 and left my mother the responsibility to care for us. 4 are girls, married now with children and 3 are boys. I stayed home because I could not find a job. Everything has become so hard and my mother requires a lot of attention. She developed high blood pressure and her hearing isn’t as good. Now, I do everything around the household. This requires money; buying her medicine, ensuring her nutrition is on track, and looking after the pair of goats you gave us.”
The direct beneficiaries of widows are their orphaned children. Like Steven, many youths across developing countries are struggling with finding means of survival. The high unemployment rates have made it hard for them to find active sources of income. Uplifting widowed households ensure their beneficiaries too are assured of sustainable sources of income.
What next for this family?
“The goats have not reproduced yet. It has been very dry and their feeds have been hard to come by. But we are hopeful that the next mating season will present kids. They have given life to our small compound. When we hear them bleat, it gives us the energy to own the day. For a long time I had wished to buy cattle for my mother, I wanted to start a business for her so I could be like other children who support their families. But The Goat Foundation heard my prayer and came in just before my mother was bedridden.
I believe I will have built my small house next year from the goats you gave me.