Changing Lives Through Heifers in Rural Uganda

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Changing Lives Through Heifers in Rural Uganda

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


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The Namukanga Heifer Project is 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 project provides heifers to needy members of the community so they can earn an income and support their families.

The program provides: distributtion of heifers, medical care for heifers, local water protection and a vocational training program. Over 400 individuals in Namunkanga, Uganda benifit from the program.

Mrs. Mutesi Byansobera is one of the beneficiaries of the Heifer Program supported by Bread and Water for Africa®. She told her story in the local language, Lusoga, but it is translated here into English:

“I did not get a chance to go to school. I was the first born of my parents in Idinda Bumoiza in Bugweri, Uganda. In 1977 my father gave me away in marriage to a man named Byansobera. We married in a traditional ceremony that same year in Namunkanga Village. When my sister visited me, she also married a man from the village, named Patrick Balyejusa, but he divorced her and went away to marry someone else in a different village. My mother and father were both poor, as was my new husband Byansobera, so I became entrenched in the vicious cycle of poverty. My children and family in Namunkanga were living in real poverty because we could not find any sustainable source of income. When we fell sick all we had was herbs to use in place of medicine, but God kept us alive.

Thanks to Reverend David Natema, through the Namunkanga Sustainable Farming Program, we received a heifer that has given birth 4 times. We were able to give one of these heifers back to the Namunkanga Sustainable Farming Program to pass on to another family in need.

As a woman, I am able to earn an income and send my children to school with books and other school supplies that they need. We can now also pay any medical bills that arise. I used to not have clothes for myself, or for my husband and children, but because of the income from the milk we are now able to buy clothes. With the manure we are also able to fertilize our gardens and receive good crop harvests. If we have a family crisis now, we are able to sell a heifer to get the money we need to deal with the problem.

My family and I have learned the modern method of “zero grazing” as the proper way of raising these heifers. We are also thankful that Bread and Water for Africa® USA and Bread and Water for Africa- United Kingdom have been able to provide us with a good source of clean water that we use for ourselves and our animals. Before getting involved in the program, I had lost my daughter to typhoid. At first we were told by a witch doctor that it was caused by our neighbors because of a land conflict we were having. Later, when the doctors examined the body, they learned that it was because of dirty water.

Thank you Bread and Water for Africa!

Mutesi Byansobera”

Learn more about the Namunkanga Community Heifer Program

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