What do goats and cows have in common? The answer is: last December, First Baptist Church Boise had a giving tree like many churches do during the Christmas season where individuals or families will remove a tag from a Christmas tree and return with the gift specified on the tag. We decided last year to partner with Africa New Life to purchase items needed in Rwanda ranging from bibles and medical supply kits to a goat or cow. On Sunday afternoon, the team was able to help deliver bibles, 10 of the 87 goats and 3 cows (1 was pregnant and 2 had calves) to needy families in the Bugesera region of Rwanda thanks to all those that participated in the Giving Tree at First Baptist. Bugesera is where we had the opportunity to do the medical clinics. Cows and goats provide a source of income for these families. They breed the goats which are then sold as food. The cows are used for milk and also for breeding, and the calves can be sold. Cows milk sells for 250 Rwandan Francs ($0.36 US) per liter and one cow can supply between 10-20 liters per day depending on the season and whether or not they have a calf. A calf can sell for approximately 415,000 Rwandan Francs ($600.00 US).
The cows were given to preselected families with at least one HIV positive child. One child in each of those families is sponsored through ANLM. In addition to income, the cows milk will also help provide nutrition for these families. One child we saw was obviously malnourished. Each family's story was uniquely touching. The team was truly more blessed than were the families receiving a goat or cow. Thank you to all those that participated in the Giving Tree this past Christmas!
Kenny Barrett - Rwanda Team Member