December 12, 2015 –
Now in its second year, the Holiday Gift Program is off to a great start. North Decatur Presbyterian Church sold 5 goats 2 Seed kits and 3 bags of seeds at their Alternative Gift Mart last weekend. Emory Presbyterian and Good Shepherd Presbyterian will be offering goats and seeds for sale each of the next 2 Sundays.
Last year’s donations provided 20 goats to the villages in the Spring of 2015. There are now 47 goats in the program due to successful breeding. It is estimated that once the herd gets to about 200 goats, the program will provide needed cash for the school and sustain itself.
First discussed during our trip in October 2014, it was suggested that the parents could start a livestock program to benefit the school. The “revolving model” for this program starts with the recipient of a pregnant goat. The first offspring goes to the school and the 2nd offspring to a community member not in an eco-village, and then they get to keep the future offspring.
So last year at Christmas time, we created the Holiday Gift Giving Program where givers can purchase an animal or seeds to benefit the school and the donor gets a card to give as a gift. This model has been a successful holiday tradition to benefit third world people and made popular through organizations like Heifer Int’l.
When you travel through rural Haiti, you’ll see goats all along the side of the road usually tied to a tree or a cactus. The people raise goats for their meat and many of the meals we were served during our visit in Haiti featured goat meat. Raising goats for breeding and later sale is one way that parents are able to contribute to the funding of the school’s operations.
MPP encourages collective care of animals in each village. So whatever animals we end up funding, they will be equitably distributed throughout the villages.
To purchase a goat or bag of seed to benefit the Ecovillages people, see Becky Evans @ North Decatur PC, Kathyrn Hornsby @ Emory PC, or Ginger Stapley @ Good Shepherd.
- Article submitted by C. Calia