Kids for Kids – Goats and Education in Darfur
We are supporting one of our main ongoing projects, Kids for Kids, and their life transforming work.
Patricia Parker, (CEO) writes: “I went to Darfur recently and was shocked to find children with hair turned blonde because prolonged malnutrition. Soaring inflation has left families incapable of buying protein in any form. People had always impressed on me how important our goat loans are (6 are given to a family for 2 years, they reproduce and then 6 goats are given to the next family) – and linked to our package of help for a village they tell me we have lifted whole communities out of abject poverty and given them a real chance in life.
I had originally calculated that we should provide our goat loans to 10% of families in each village, with the aim to spread our whole support to as many villages as possible. (Goats milk is often the only protein a family has.) After 10 years we now support 60 villages. But with this terrible clear evidence of malnutrition – if hair is now blonde, what about the children’s teeth and bones and even brain cells? We are therefore aiming to increase our support to 15% of families in each goat loan project. But with inflation the price of goats has soared too, from £22 to £45 a goat.”
“BUT villagers also expressed another request to me. Once their flock of goats has grown and they are able to save money, it is, without exception, used for school fees. 98% of women are illiterate and they are determined their children should not grow up like them. They have therefore asked if we could fund kindergartens in each of our villages. It is a tall order but we will do our best.”
“At present, families cannot afford to give their children toys of any sort, even the youngest are expected to help the family survive. Young children collect water, heard animals, weed fields and are hired out to earn the most meagre of wages. The educational toys we are providing will be invaluable to help them with imaginative and constructive play. Children develop mentally and physically fastest during their early years. Mental stimulation, physical activities and social interaction at the kindergartens will provide a solid foundation, enabling the children to develop their potential.”