One of my favorite parts of our visit to Cobocol was our visit to the goat project. Goats are one of the most important animals in Haiti. Goat milk is important as a source of protein for children, and raising goats is an important source of income. However, the native breed of goats are small and do not produce much milk.
First, families can bring their goat to the centre to be breed for a small fee. This will result in better offspring. The fees for breeding the goats provides the funding necesary to sustain the operation. These fees will allow the facility to continue to operate successfully once the World Vision project comes to an end.
Second, goats are distributed to families in the community. It started with 80 goats, where one goat was given to each family at no cost. Once the goat had its first kids, the family returns one young goat back to the project. These goats then get passed on to other families, and the cycle continues. In this way, the new breed can be distributed throughout the community at low cost.
We met families that had benefited from the goat program, and heard what a difference it made to them. When asked how much more milk the new breed of goats gives, the answer was the difference in milk production was “night and day”. Everyone we met was very positive about the program.
People who participate in the program also receive additional instruction on how to best raise and care for the goats. It is simple but effective programs like these that make World Vision community development so successful.