Lorna Jost

Please help me understand the title of this article. This "goat project" has been in existence since 1980 and they have only given out 4200 goats in that time (140 goats / yr for 30+ years). Check out the advance information - #418705. Less that 7% of the budget goes to goats and medicines for the health workers. The rest goes for salaries, overhead, administration, training, etc. This indicates that the Goats are really not the high priority of this project. The training of Community Health workers and Animal Health workers is the main priority. Which is all fine and dandy, but if one thinks they are giving money to help farmers with goats.. not happening so much here - one should stick with Heifer project international, also an Advance - #982532. I would like to see an article on the trained CHW and Animal Health workers - since that is where most of the money has gone. Has this been effective? What kind of work are they doing in their communities? Who are they helping? Is this project reproducable elsewhere?

I know of a project in Panama, through the Northern Illinois Conference, where 12+ community health workers have been trained in the Ngabe Indigenous tribe, over a period of 4 years, with one on one training and loving help. They have been extremely effective in their community outreach - all costs assumed by the UMVIM medical teams and their church sponsors, with the help and advisement of the GBGM Missionary host, Rhett Thompson.

There is a new project at Angel House in Tanzania led by Individual Volunteers Mark and Pam Travis of the Iowa Conference ( Maxwell UMC). They were instrumental in starting a chicken coop a couple of years ago so that the people of the area had their first eggs produced for Christmas, 2011! Last year, Mark and Pam travelled to Heifer Project in Arkansas, on their own dime, to learn about and study goat production. They are now returning to Tanzania this summer for 3 months, with two teams from Maxwell in tow, to build a goat barn and train the community in their care and management.

UMCOM ran another story about Haiti - the one about women helping women at HAPI, an excellent Community Based Health and Welfare program. This was a brain-child of Valerie Mossman Celestin, West Michigan Conference. With the Haitian-based leadership and help of many hands from the US, their successes are being multiplied. This project again was started with volunteer hearts and hands.

Perhaps UMVIM teams when wisely investing their hearts, energy, and talents and with a primary focus, are more cost effective and efficient in the long run for projects like these? Just a thought!

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