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Pass It On

A gift of livestock brings myriad benefits to a family and a community.


If ever there were a gift that keeps on giving, Estele’s goats from ChildFund’s Gifts of Love and Hope catalog are it.

The day the goats finally arrived in her small village in the Kabweza area of Zambia, Estele could barely contain herself. The whole community had gathered at the big agricultural shed down the road, and the sounds of singing and dancing reached Estele and her family well before they arrived.

Once there, Estele quickly made her way to the goat pen. Somewhere among the herd were four goats — her four goats — that some kind person in America had purchased on her family’s behalf. Which ones? She reached out to pat one of the nervous animals and jumped back with a giggle as it let loose a loud bleat.

As the grown-ups selected goats for Estele’s family, one of them explained to them ChildFund’s arrangement: When the goats have their first babies, those babies are passed along to another needy family in the community. That family will do the same when the passed along kid goats come of age. Estele loved the idea that her goats would help not only her family but other families in the community as well.

She hoped the goats would like the goat house her family had worked so hard to build. They had all done their parts, cutting trees for poles and carrying them home from the forest, thatching the roof to protect the goats from sun and rain, and hanging a sturdy door to keep them safe.

The best part came each day when Estele got home from school and would take turns with her siblings to take the "ladies" out to the best sweet grass for grazing. Other boys and girls and their goats from nearby villages joined what came to feel like a parade, almost as festive as the day the goats first arrived. The children played and shared stories, all the while mindful of their responsibility to look after the goats. Estele felt proud to be so useful.

But one mystery perplexed Estele: Exactly how were four mama goats supposed to make babies?

Her grandmother, as grandmothers often do, had an answer. One morning, she woke up early, walked to the next village, and returned with a borrowed male goat. Very soon, the ladies began to show signs that little goats were on the way.

One of those signs, of course, was milk — wonderful, nutritious milk! Milk that could be added to Estele’s and her brothers’ and sisters’ meals. Milk that could be sold at market when there was extra.

And more good things would come. Estele was a little sad to see the baby goats go, but the next batch of kids would be the family’s to do with as they saw fit — to grow the herd, to sell, to eat. There would be money for school expenses, medicine and other important needs that had always been out of reach.

Through it all, Estele took satisfaction in her contribution to the family’s income. Who knew something so important could be so much fun?

Find goats and more at — or order by phone at 1-800-776-6767.

#49450 Female goat for a family in Zambie$36
#49724 Four female goats for families in Zambia$144
#49436 Goat for a family in the Caribbean$37
#49438 Goat for a family in Guinea$71
#49440 Goat for a family in Mozambique$118
#49444 Goat for a family in The Gambia$86
#49446 Goat for a family in Timor-Leste$143
#49448 Goat for a family in Uganda$105
Other four-legged friends: 
#49473 Three lambs for a family in Senegal$159
#49475 Sheep for a family in The Gambia$85
#49453 Water buffalo for a family in Indonesia$429
#49455 Cow for a family in Timor-Leste$500
#49457 Cow for a family in Indonesia$300