Providing opportunities for self-sufficiency to families through the distribution of heifers.
Local Partner: Namunkanga Heifer Project, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Uganda
Local Partner Coordinator: Rev. David Natema
Area Served: Namunkanga Community, south eastern Uganda
Program Goal: Provide heifers to needy members of the community so that they can earn an income and support their families.
Program Services Provided: Distribution of heifers, medical care for heifers, local water protection, and a vocational training program.
Number of Program Beneficiaries: More than 1,000 individuals in Namunkanga and Bulange
Program Summary: A community outreach program implemented by the community and created out of the necessity to provide food, clean water and opportunities economic self-sufficiency to people in the area, the Namunkanga Heifer Project has made great headway towards its goals.
During the past five years, more than 110 individuals have received heifers, with the intention of passing on another heifer to a needy neighbor. Rev. Natema, Project Coordinator reports, “Before the implementation of the project families at Namunkanga and Bulange did not have access to milk and they did not have money to purchase it. Thanks to Bread and Water for Africa®, families now have milk and the sale of their surplus milk provides families with the money to meet other basic needs such as food, healthcare services, and education for their children.”
The heifers are kept at the home of the program participant in an enclosed pen, thus using a zero-grazing basis. The zero-grazing approach is important because it helps to protect animals from diseases and also ensures that local gardens are not destroyed by wandering heifers. The program ensures that nothing is left to waste even the cow dung is used as a natural fertilizer to help the community crops grow.
Economic empowerment is being achieved by program participants through the sale of milk and meat. The availability of milk and meat also helped to greatly reduce the incidence of malnutrition in the community, especially amongst children.
Due to the spread of many water-borne diseases including typhoid and bilharzias, protection of the local water source was also a vital focus of the program. A tap was constructed at the local water source and the community was educated about how to collect water and keep it safe. Following the increased protection of the water source, water-borne diseases are thankfully no longer a major cause of death and suffering in the community. The water is also used for the heifers in the program.