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Help us find examples of Revolving Livestock Fund projects/programs | NABUUR

Help us find examples of Revolving Livestock Fund projects/programs

Status: Finished
Step: 
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Our first step is to find examples of similar successful projects. After that we will examine them, choose the one (or a few) which best suits Walungu, and define how we could best use their experience to make our project a success.

Hi everyone

Tanja – thank you for sharing your experience with us. I think 3 important things could be seen there: 1 – importance of community interest and willingness to do the possible from their side 2- increased power when organized in a group 3- importance of careful planning when it comes to borrowing money.

- What we are trying is to get people involved as much as possible from the beginig, since the experience shows that their input is crucial for success.

- The experience from other villages says that donations in similar cases don't work, people do not take enough care of donated animals and the animals usually die. But this doesn't mean that donations shouldn't be made at all. On the contrary, we'll probably need them, but we believe that even in the case of donations, villagers have to contribute somehow. Raul thinks that some materials and tools should be obatained by donation rather than animals themselves.

- We also need microloans, with low interest rate of course, if we can find them. But we are trying to avoid dependency and we definitely must try to avoid or lower the risks as much as possible. So the funding must be really carefully planned, and I myself am really against funding the whole project by microloans.

- I think all the funding will be easier to find if the community proves that they are ready to do what they can do for themselves, to invest their resources (labor, money, whatever the can), and to have some initial results.

Nico - Thanks for the link, I had a quick look at it, they really seem to be big :) Maybe Guillaume could contact them or even pay a visit. Cooperation is always a great plus I think.
You proposed contacting Heifer International. It would be very good to have them in the village, but since they already have a lot of projects, we are not sure how possible would it be to get them there. You mentioned a friend who's their supporter, and I was wandering if he has any contacts there? Maybe that would be a way to get them interested. What do you think? Are you willing to you try to help with that?

Best,
Sonja

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Hi everyone,

Dr Gipson at the Langston University worked in Africa and he was very kind to share some of his knowledge about goat farming in the area. Dr Gibson will also have a set of technical bulletins for sheep and goat farmers forwarded to Guillaume's mailing address.

Here is his email:

"Tanja,

I am somewhat familiar with the area. It is similar to the area around
Bunia (in the north) and most of Rwanda. I am familiar with both.

One approach that the Walungu project might take is to initiate the
revolving livestock fund with indigenous goats and concentrate upon training
of the members in proper animal management. Indigenous animals are hardy,
very adapted to the environment, and will need less inputs than exotic
breeds or crossbred animals. As the members acquire the knowledge, skills,
and abilities necessary for more "productive" animals, then crossbreds can
be introduced. For dairying purposes, I would suggest crossbreds of
Toggenburg or Anglo-Nubian, both of which have been introduced into Kenya
and there might be some crossbred animals in Rwanda.

An excellent teaching/training resource is Goatkeepers' Animal Health Care
Manual, edited by Vatta, A.F., Abbot, M.A., de Villiers, J.F., Gumede, S.A.,
Harrison, L.J.S., Krecek, R.C., Letty, B.A., Mapeyi, N., and Pearson, R.A.
It was published by Onderspepoort Veterinary Institute in Pietermaritzburg
(South Africa) in 2006. It is small (52 pages) but is easy to read and has
numerous photos and illustrations. I think that it may be out of print now.

Langston University has a project in Ethiopia and my colleagues on the
project have produced a series of technical bulletins for Ethiopian sheep
and goat farmers. I could request that they send a copy of each bulletin to
the Walungu project, if desired.

Unfortunately, all the technical bulletins and Goatkeepers' Animal Health
Care Manual are in English. I will look but I don't think that I have any
appropriate publications in French."

Quick question: Does anybody have any connections in South Africa? I will contact one of the authors to check the availability of the book, but we may need a local person to pick up a copy (if available).

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

Tanja - thank you for this contribution. It sounds like a feasible strategy, maybe we could try that way - with indigenous goats, to concentrate to proper training and then to introduce crossbreds. What do you think guys?
Regarding material from S.Africa, I have a friend from Capetown, but she lives over here. Her friends and family live there however, so I’m sure she would be willing to ask some of them for help if we need it.

Everyone - I thought maybe Guillaume could contact FONDAMU (the organization in Ngweshe whose link Nico posted), to ask about their activities and also to see how they trained their beneficiaries; maybe they could help with some goat training in Walungu?

I talked with Guillaume and he thinks that the community is ready to start with some actions. We agreed about several things regarding strategy, so we would need your comments and ideas so we could make decisions together.

- A Walungu family earns around 1$ per day (which is not secured for all days in a month). Guillaume will talk to the people to try to save 0.5$ per month per family. Thus 20 families together would have 10$ a month on their savings account.

- A goat costs 30$ in area. And we should try to search for some better breeds, which would be good for crossbreeding later on, so such a goat will probably cost some more than 30$. There are no milk goats in area. Guillaume will also ask about artificial insemination service in the area.

- We thought it would be best to try to combine funding resources: community savings, microloans and some donations. What do you guys think?

- Guillaume will try to find some people in the village and the surroundings who already have animals and to try to involve them in the project.

- Besides, he would like to try to involve some richer Walungu inhabitants to help with the project. How does this sound?

- Also, Guillaume would very much like to give them 2 goats himself to get them started. But I thought that it would be a donation as well, and I proposed that in that case he encourages them to save money for goats and then he could add to that amount what misses to purchase the animals. Guys, what do you think about that?
I’m also a bit concerned how that’s going to reflect to the relation between Guillaume and the community. Do you think that it would be ok that he himself gives something?

Let’s discuss about all this and bring together decisions on how to proceed.

Take care,
Sonja

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Great posting Sonja and happy to see some actions that could start happening.

What about we do an strategy where for each 4 goats they save money for we donate one to the project.

I am not sure how many families are ready to start but if for example there are 20 families, if they save together to buy 16 goats we could donate 4. I am happy to donate those 4 once they have saved for the first 16 (those prices are in USD no?).

Look forward to hearing you thoughts,

Raul

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Dear neighbours,
I am worried that this project is moving much too fast and I think that we should slow down. When I read about " starting activities" and " donating goats", I shiver.
There are some points I would like to make:
1. In the last few days I have talked with people who have a lot of experience in development aid. And they underlined that they don't work in unstable regions. So I wonder, Guillaume, how safe is Walungu right now ? You have a peace
agreement since the beginning of this year? Are you not afraid that the goats will be looted ?
2. The experts also emphasized that there should be a concrete projectplan, written by a trustworthy local partner. So I would suggest that your organisation, ASDI, should obtain charity-status under Congolese law, in order
to receive funding, in due time.
3. Furtheron, there is big NGO in Holland (Agriterra), which has a lot money and they assist peasants worldwide:
www.agriterra.org
They also have partners in DR Congo. So I think it would be wise to contact them for assistance. Have a look at:
http://www.agro-info.net/?menu=countries&view=country&country_id=3952
Have a nice weekend,
Nico

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The major problem I see with NABUUR is that we spend a lot of time discussing reports, doing studies, and on and on. Forget all that. Get in the village and do something to help. Subsistence farmers are not interested in reports, etc.

Get those goats as soon as possible and let's get to work. Here is what I learned yesterday and I think Pygmy goats are the way to start. Later, after the farmers are experienced, a few might want to try using the milk breeds if there is a market for the milk.

"The Pygmy goat originated in Africa and was imported to the US in the 1950s. As its name implies, it's smaller than dairy goats, but it produces a respectable amount of milk for its weight and food consumption.

Pygmy goats because they are easy to raise and handle and they are affectionate, cute, lovable and playful. A full grown doe or whether ranges from 16 to 23 inches at the withers and they usually weigh from 40 to 70 pounds. Pygmy goats are year-round breeders so kids may be available at any time of the year. A litter usually consists of 1-3 goats and the kids weigh from 2-4 pounds.

Raising pygmy goats and breeding pygmy goats are similar to other Goats."

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Hello everyone,

Sorry that I have not been able to catch up with the discussions as much as I would like but have been traveling a lot and working on several projects at the same time.

IN my opinion, I think the pace of the project is to be defined by the community so it would be good to hear what Guillaume thinks, I think we should never try to slow down if the community is happy and comfortable with the developments. My feeling is that our role to support and to suggest but it is always the community that should decide because they know the situation better. Any thoughts on this Guillaume?

Guillaume has also mentioned the security is much better since 2002 and together with the peace agreement and the presence of other NGO's in the area I would not be concerned. Again, Guillaume would have the last say on this. At the same time, I do not feel donating 4 goats if the community saves to get 16 more (remember Guillaume has mentioned 100 families that could potentially be part of the projects) would be a rushed step.

Nico, you mention that development organisations do not work in unstable areas, we have already found a number of organisations in the area so I feel that would indicate they begin to regain trust in investing in the region.

Heifer, they are a great organsiation and have recently received a big grant

http://www.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.3842753/

so it will be interested to find out the logistics of the delivery of that support. At the same time, in the many projects being developed in Nabuur, the first cause of a project going still is that the community and the neighbours just wait until someone puts some funding in the project. On the other hand, all the ones I have seen succeeding have several steps being carried out in the field even before any funding if any is provided.

There are many organisatons that provide funding and microloans to small farmers but in most cases when you approached them they say they have already committed all their funding for 1 or two years. I still beleive approaching them should be part of the strategy but only in parallel with local developments, they will succeed if they feel confident and I fell they are gaining confidence.

In regards to the Artificial INsemination (A.I.), I feel it is important to evaluate if the cost of brining an specialist to the procedure is worth it given the cost of the animal. Let's not forget that there are several factors that play a role to have a good ratio of AI's that result in a goat pregnancy. I am more familiar with the biology of the cow than of the goat but my feeling is that it is probably better to do have natural inseminations and that maybe an improved breed male goat can be rented of bought to do this.

Again, I strongly believe that we are here to support the process of empowerment of the community and that the community should be the one defining if the pace is too fast or if they are comfortable with it.

I think it is excellent that we are having these discussions because it is like this that we start forming community which is also essential for the success of this project.

It will also be very interesting if Guillaume is bale to visit the projects in the vicinity to identify best practices and learn from their mistakes too.

I look forward to hearing eveyone's comments.

Raul

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Dear Nico,

First I'd like to thank you very much for all excellent inputs you made so far.

Ever since the village started online we really have had an extensive discussion about the strategy, which I believe helped a lot to move in right direction.

It started with rather ambitious goals, and we agreed that the community should go one step a time and set some more achievable goals first. We invited Praveen and Raul to share their experience with us, and they helped a great deal to make us realize all the threats and the potentials.

Guillaume and I also talked a lot about internal resources of the village and how to best use them and also about the things that the community should do for themselves right now, just because we're aware that we would probably have to wait long before we would get any type of funding from the outside. I don't see reasons why they should wait to do something for themselves, especially things like savings or trying methods to get some goats. I myself would be very happy to donate some goats if they save for several first ones by themselves.

We are also aware that there's a risk that the animals would die or get looted and I think we decreased the risk by deciding on goats instead of cows and deciding not to fund the whole project by microcredits...
The risk will always be present, but I believe that - when they learn how to best organize themselves, start saving and searching for methods how to use what they have and how to get what they need - in the case something happens they would immediatelly know from where to start again, without waiting desperately for someone else from the outside to do the first input. For me, this is very important aspect of empowerment.

As for the project plan, I think that neighbours on nabuur are skilled enough to produce it, which also could be seen in successful examples of both Raul's project plans, based on which they got support from different organizations. Raul was so kind as to provide me with the copies of both and I'm attaching them as resources for Walungu project plan.

I don't know whether ASDI has or needs a status of charity organization, thank you for the suggestion, we should check that and do what will be neccessary.

I would very much like to hear your comments.

Take care,
Sonja

(I find myself a terrible "talker" on this forum :-D )

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Hi every One,
Thank you Nico for all information about NGO.I'l try to conatct and see how their criteria to support revolving live stock and how much we are eligble.

Then I'l like to remeind that In walungu security is actually improved and developpement actors could not be worry to interveniet there.
Returnees had all redy installed and dwell their location.

Actually in walungu is safe and people had started to work,to cultivate .
the presence of NGO working in the site proof that peace had come back after more years of disturbance.

I notice that as long as the dicussion is going on,informations is becaming more and more clear.

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Goodmorning everybody,
I think, Sonja, that you are not a terrible, but a very capable talker. As English is (except for Ken) is not our
first, but second language, I feel that you are doing very well in "leading" the project.
Regards,
Nico

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Same comes from me Sonja. Great work.

Glad to be part of your team.

Raul

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Hi everybody,

I realize I am a bit late with my comments and most of my posting is redundant...Anyway.My personal view is that investment is needed in disadvantaged and may be unstable places. If the community wants to take responsibility and move forward- let them run with it! We have a simple project. Let's not over complicate it with big words and endless discussions; there are too many variables that are out of our control- bad governance, poor infrastructure, natural and man made disasters... The biggest challenge will be to train and to involve the local people. It looks like the community is very excited about having the goats. So we need to focus on training and encouraging the community to save. The bonus system sounds good, although I think Guillaume should not be one of the donors (in order to avoid raising people's expectations that he will keep donating goats if anything goes wrong).Once the project starts nobody will say " No, I don't want to have better food on my table, thank you very much but I prefer to be sick and malnourished".

Best,

Tanja

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Thank you guys for your kind words. :oops: I am the lucky one, to have such neighbours.

I'm actually trying to say more with fewer words, but it doesn't really work :-P . I started feeling that I'm repeating myself over and over :-) .

Thank you Tanja, this is a great posting - straight to the point.

Guillaume is doing an excellent work involving the community and helping them understand what they can and cannot expect from nabuur to do. They are excited and ready to start doing something for themselves.

Keep up the good work people!

Warm regards,
Sonja

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Dear all,

The chat is tomorrow on Wednesday, April 16, at 2pm GMT (4pm Holland time and 3pm Congo time).

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow,
Sonja

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Dear neighbours,

Couple of weeks ago Nico found a project in Walungu neighbourhood called FONDAMU

http://www.fondamu.org/ruralprojects/village_projects.html

working on revolving livestock fund, something very similar to ours.

Guillaume contacted them and made an appointment for tomorrow, Saturday 19. He is going to ask them for their best practices, what worked well for them and to advise us about problems that might occur. He’s also going to check if they can provide any training for the community – in sustainable farming or livestock management (but we don’t know whether they work only with cows or with some other animals as well, so he’ll check that also). And of course to see in what other way we can cooperate.

Any suggestion what else he could talk to them?
Take care,
Sonja

P.S. the chat summary is almost over, I’ll try to post it during the day

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