Back in 2016, we shared a story about a teen named Alice from Uganda, whose life changed when she received a goat from Food for the Hungry (FH). At the time, by Alice’s own admission, “Life in general [was not] smooth on my side.”
That’s putting it mildly.
Six years before our original story, Alice’s parents both died. She and her four siblings dropped out of school and moved in with her uncle. Altogether there were 10 children in the household, biological and adopted. Eventually, Alice moved in with her grandparents, where life was still tough. They ate only one meal per day and there was little left for school fees or medical costs. Alice started school again but was always afraid she would have to drop out. “The situation made me become too bitter in my heart and tears were my daily food — telling God, why us?”
FH came into Alice’s community in 2010, with programs funded via the generosity of child sponsors. Alice benefitted from help with health, hygiene, and education along with other children and teens in her area. But with that fear of dropping out of school continued to threaten her progress.
In 2011, FH gave Alice a female goat. That changed everything — and continues to lift her out of poverty today.
Alice with some of her goats in 2016.
One Goat Leads to New Options
From that one goat, Alice quickly increased her small flock to seven. By 2016, she was paying her school fees from her goat sales, and she had money left for emergency savings. “God has heard my prayer and restored my hope,” Alice said.
We sought out Alice again recently and heard that she was doing well — and the goats still are very important to her. At its peak, her goat herd numbered 20 animals. While six of them died along the way, she had plenty of goats to give her a financial cushion. Most importantly, the goats gave her options.
Alice sits with her daughter, Ginty, while shelling shea nuts. She uses the nuts to make cooking oil.
While Alice had previously dreamed of being a nurse, she decided to switch directions and train as a tailor. She sold 10 goats to pay for the tailoring course and is now a professional tailor. Additionally, the sale of those goats provided cash to buy food and other basic items.
These days, Alice is married and is mother of a five-month-old daughter named Ginty. She is no longer a sponsored child, but she still benefits from working with FH — especially during the onslaught of COVID-19.
Along with other family members, Alice heard about how to prevent COVID-19 from FH staff. But there’s more to fighting the coronavirus than social distancing. COVID-19 has driven up food prices and decreased household income, since it’s tough to find work when you’re in lockdown. Fortunately, because Alice’s family owns goats, she has assets she can sell for cash when needed. Right now Alice’s goat herd comprises of five animals. But she’s not ready to sell yet for good reason — all five goats are expecting!
Alice’s ability to take care of her family started with one goat, but she also had support from family and advising that FH sponsorship made possible. It takes more than just money in hand, to help teens like Alice navigate the journey to adulthood. FH sponsorship staff are there to advise and encourage when students face a crossroad about their future, as Alice did. Please consider becoming a child sponsor so that there are more teens like Alice, who have encouragement and choices about their futures.
You May Be Interested in These Blog Posts:
From Vulnerable Orphan to Thriving Entrepreneur
Pursuing and Education Despite the Odds
What We Know — And Don’t — About Fighting Poverty