By Adam Riddell, Samaritan’s Purse staff member in Uganda
I first visited the Samaritan’s Purse’s livestock program in Uganda in 2010. As an intern, I got to help our great field staff with vaccinating chickens and even de-horning a cow.
Needless to say, it was a memorable week that exposed me to a whole new side of rural, Ugandan living. Then I returned to the rolling, green hills of western Uganda to see our work there, encourage our team, and talk with beneficiaries such as Gertrude.
Samaritan’s Purse gave Gertrude three female goats in July of 2008. We also helped her build a goat house, which helps keep the animals safe, hygienic, and healthy. Our veterinarian staff was also available to offer medical treatment in case of sickness and educational support in case she had any questions.
Since then, Gertrude’s goats have reproduced. She currently has nine goats and four young kids. They can be found joyfully playing around her compound, and happily greet us on our arrival.
As the sole income earner for her family, Gertude relies on these goats to provide much-needed financial support. Through the sale of her goats, she has been able to purchase land in the local trading center to further increase her income.
She recently sold two goats to pay $100 in school fees for her children. A few months ago, Gertrude was hospitalized but was able to sell a goat to pay for the medical expenses. In this way, the goats provided through Samaritan’s Purse are like mobile savings accounts on four legs!
Gertrude is just one of the thousands of people in Western Uganda who have benefited through the livestock program. Over the years, we’ve supported households with pigs, dairy cows, goats, chickens and even fish, thanks to the generous donations of our supporters.