First…. it’s official!
Northern Uganda Women and Children Support Initiative, Inc. or NUWOCSI for short, has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 tax exempt, nonprofit organization. It was a long, daunting process preparing all their required documentation but we did it! We praise the Lord and give thanks that it was accepted by the IRS on the first filing.
Second, after 4 years, I finally have a vehicle…direct from Japan! My first on-line purchase of a vehicle so I was a bit nervous of what would be delivered but so far I’m happy with the purchase. It’s an older car but came in great condition. Even the tires look new! My dusty or wet motorcycle rides to the village will now be limited, not that I don’t enjoy all that fresh air, dust and rain blowing through my hair BUT there is a limit. I had the cattle bars added to the front and back. One never knows what kind of livestock will cross their path on these roads.
Before I get to the goats I just want to say that the quilting and English lessons continue in Tegot-atoo. We are currently preparing for a Bazaar in Kampala next month where we hope to sell some products and generate some additional interest.
Some of these women really enjoy the quilting and I find myself struggling to keep them in projects. However, there are a few who get tired waiting for me and they go and design their own. This makes me proud!
The English lessons are going better than ever. We have had a new teacher the last few months, a young man named Ouma Justin who recently graduated teacher’s college. Although, he has a full-time job teaching at a high school he’s able to come to the village one day a week and teach the women English. They really like his teaching style and have been learning quickly.
This is a local goat, common to northern Uganda and up to a couple of months ago that’s about all I could tell you about it, but I’ve been learning a lot about goats lately.
Soon we hope to be breeding these local goats with exotic dairy goats. The purpose will be to provide some much need nutrition and milk to the villages. Drinking of milk is fairly rare in the villages as it’s hard to obtain, either from goats or cows. The local goats do not produce enough milk on their own to milk. However, when breed with a high quality milk goat, they will eventually have a goat that can produce anywhere from 1 to 1 ½ cups of milk daily. This will occur after two generations of breeding. Then, with good breeding and over a 20 year period, a goat should be able to produce 3 cups of milk daily.
The benefit of goats milk is that it is much easier to digest than cows milk and is well tolerated in small children and babies. This is important for mothers who have HIV/AIDS where the disease can be carried to the baby during breastfeeding. Goats milk, unlike cows milk, is much less likely to produce an allergy or intolerance. In addition to providing additional food and nutrition it will also be a source of income.
NUWOCSI is partnering with an organization called JOY Goats http://www.joygoats.org.uk. They have been in Uganda for over 20 years and have implemented the dairy goat breeding in several areas throughout Uganda. We are beginning this program in three villages; Coopil, Acut-Omer, and Kiceke. These are the villages that the women in our Tegot-atoo quilting project come from but the program is open and available to everyone in these villages, not just the women’s group. NUWOCSI may also be sponsoring a dairy buck for an orphanage in a near-by village that will begin a program in that village.
This week we had some training sessions in each of the villages in order to explain the program and answer questions people may have about dairy goats and breeding. People were interested!
There’s a lot work yet before we’re ready to receive the exotic dairy bucks. A buck will be placed in each of the three villages once we have built a proper shelter for it and have determined a good buck keeper. It is here at the buck station where villagers will bring their female goats for breeding. The buck keeper will have the responsibility of caring for the buck, watching for any signs of illness, keeping good breeding records and advising other villagers of the breeding process and answering their questions.
The idea of breeding dairy goats in northern Uganda is relatively a new concept and this is going to take some careful monitoring to insure its success. We’re committed to giving this program the best chance to succeed and we will be monitoring it closely because if it is successful it will bring so many benefits to this impoverished area. I’d like to ask for your prayers as we implement this program.
I would like to thank those of you who continue to support us with your monetary gifts, your gifts of sewing supplies, and with your prayers. It is because of your generosity, thoughtfulness and caring that we are now able to introduce new programs, while continuing with the quilt project. Thank you for being a part of it all!
I thank the Lord for His faithfulness and continue blessings on my life here in Uganda.