Do you ever wonder how we transport 600 goats across a war-torn country with only 12 miles of paved roads? Here is a sneak peak into what our on-site staff has been up to these last 3 months.
Luckily for us, we have the best of the best on the ground. Luka Garang and Angelo Thiik have been hard at work purchasing goats from markets and towns across the country, and hand delivering them to communities in need. These last 3 months they delivered 600 goats to vulnerable people on the outskirts of Lol State and Aweil East State. After purchasing the goats, they administered vaccines to ensure that the goats remain healthy and strong during the trip and provide nutritious milk for their new families. Following their vaccines, the biggest challenge was finding a way to get the goats to the intended community. This often involves multiple days of pot-hole, mud-filled travel, without the luxury of air conditioning or gas stations.
When we first start working with a community, it always very humbling to see the tribe bring out the most at-risk individuals to receive their goats. More often then not, they are so malnourished that their hair is falling out and changing colors, their eyes are yellow, and their stomachs protrude awkwardly from the rest of their body. I saw one lady who had to be transported around in a wheel-barrel by her granddaughter because she was so weak. On that same trip we visited a nearby tribe that we had visited 1 year earlier. We were happy to see that most of these same symptoms had disappeared since our last visit. Their goat population had multiplied, and the people were much stronger and healthier. We will continue to return to these communities and make sure that every individual eventually receives a goat, and that their herd remains self-sustainable, eventually creating economic opportunity for their futures.
We are so grateful for all of our donors’ help in making this all possible. We recognize that the goat delivery has been slower than anticipated, due to travel and political restrictions. We are indebted to our on-sight volunteers who dedicate their precious time to ensure that our operations run as smoothly as possible! As of the time of this post we have nearly 2000 goats that have been purchased and are pending delivery! We recognize that about 900 of these are behind schedule, and we are working our hardest to get the goats there as safely and as quickly as possible. Thank you for understanding the time delays and we hope that you will continue to invest in the people of South Sudan!