I was thrilled to receive the gift of one goat and two chickens for Christmas; it gave me great joy because those animals will be sent to a third world country to help a poor family have milk and eggs for nourishment as well as the possibility of having extra butter, milk and eggs to sell at market.
World Vision, the organization that oversees this program, shows pictures in their catalogue of children holding baby goats, which leads me to believe that this gift also provides a family pet for the children. I would have little interest in sending a pig or sheep or goat to be slaughtered, but I love the idea that the animal can produce much-needed calcium and protein (maybe even companionship) and produce baby animals to be sold to help with other expenses.
“Dairy goat milk provides great protein for growing children, and it’s easy to digest. The family can sell surplus milk, cheese, and yogurt to earn money for medicines and other necessities. Plus, fertilizer from goats will help them grow more vegetables in their garden. It’s hard to think of a better gift than a goat, unless it’s a pair of goats.” (World Vision catalogue)
A father of 7 in Darfur, Abdulrahman, had this to say when he received his gift of chickens, “These chickens have completely changed my life.” Abdulrahman, year after year, had struggled to feed his 7 children; his family was lifted from despair when he received a flock of chickens. Chickens are a beautiful gift of nutritious food for a hungry family. Fresh eggs raise the levels of protein and other essential nutrients in a family’s diet, and the sale of extra eggs provides money for personal and household needs. Since chickens are easy to breed, gifts can multiply and make a better life for a whole village. When a gift of an animal is given through World Vision, a family receives much more than the animal. Families and community groups also receive feed and vaccines, and families are trained in animal care and agriculture.
You can find World Vision at www.worldvisiongifts.org or even on Face book. World Vision gives you many different opportunities to give in a wide price range. A few of the opportunities are listed as follows:
1. 2 soccer balls to a school $16
2. Emergency food $50 sends $250 worth of donated food
3. School books, supplies etc. $50 sends $700 worth of new items
4. Mosquito netting for a family $18
5. A donkey $225 (can live for 30 years; used to transport
wood, items to market, even a sick child)
- A deep water well &hand pump $13, 700
World Vision has been saving children’s lives and bringing lasting change for nearly 60 years. World Vision is a Christian organization serving all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender; it works hand-in-hand with families, is the largest food distributor for the UN’s World Food Programme, and 87% of every gift goes directly to help families overcome poverty. It is the largest private aid organization in the world.
This Christmas season reminds all of us once again that deep and lasting joy comes when we reach out to help others. It is a joy that cannot be duplicated in any other way. It is a joy that comes as a gift, a gift from above. One of the fascinating aspects of the joy of giving is that it comes to children even when they are very young at a stage in life when normally they are quite selfish and self-centered. What wonderful blessings are available for all of our children if they are taught early in life that joy and happiness (emotions associated with the Christmas season) are most deeply experienced as “by products” of reaching out to help others rather than receiving things for themselves.
I am happy and thankful for many things this Christmas season and especially happy that my goat and chickens will help some poor family have a better life. I would encourage you to remember this opportunity when you next have a birthday or special occasion in your family. (You can reach Pat Bryson at firstname.lastname@example.org).