Dr. Margaret Thompson, a CVM fieldworker in Tanzania is working with a dairy goat ministry through a project called Food For His Children (FFHC) This project gives her the opportunity to build relationships as a trained veterinarian and allows her to pour God’s love and His Word into the lives of the recipients of the goats. She comes alongside each recipient and teaches them basic animal husbandry so that they have improved reproduction and milk production. Because livestock is the bank account for the poor, as their dairy goat herd grows they are enabled to pay school fees and purchase medicine. People who are normally marginalized gain respect and grow in hope as they work in community with other recipients.
Melania Marmo lives in the remote Tanzania village of Aslni. For almost 30 years, she lived with her husband and children in a house made of mud and sticks. The roof leaked with heavy rains and they were exposed to the dangers of the bush. Hyenas would circle their home at night screaming and frightening the family. They lived a life of hopelessness, danger, and destitute poverty.
In 2009 Melania became a goat recipient through the local FFHC project. She was given goats and the opportunity to be trained in the care and reproduction of them. It is expected that when the goat gives birth, the firstborn will be given back into the program, allowing another family the same opportunity. Melania longed to build a brick house for her family, not only for safety but to be able to build up her goat herd. The FFHC goat project brought hope. Even before her first goat gave birth, things began to change for her family as a direct result of encouragement and having someone to walk alongside her. Melania tells us:
“I wondered if it would be possible to build a house when I first joined the project, but after joining, and even before my goat gave birth to its first born, I saw that everything was possible, through God who sent FFHC into my life. I believed I could achieve a lot because of the presence, love, closeness and motivational advice I received. I knew I could build a house if I could sell enough goats.”
Because of hope, Melania’s dream of having a brick house came true. She now has a new dream to open a local tea house in her village where she can sell goat milk tea and food. She hopes to continue to provide a source of income for her family and promote the benefits of goat milk to other parents and children of the village. Dr. Thompson says:
“Without hope, life stagnates and can become a mere existence. Mere existence is not God’s desire for us. Christ came that we might live an abundant life. (John 10:10) We can have the gift of the Holy Spirit to walk alongside us. (Acts 2:38) “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
If you would like to find out more about Dr. Margaret Thompson or support the goat project. You can find her on the CVM website. CVM’s Animal Impact program facilitates special animal projects like this around the world.