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Gift of goats helps girl orphaned by AIDS

Teopista, a World Vision-sponsored child in Uganda, lost her parents to AIDS and was shuffled between relatives. Recently, World Vision gave Teopista her first gift — a pair of goats, which is giving her hope for a brighter future.

October 2008



Teopista, 10, an AIDS orphan and World Vision-sponsored child in Uganda, stands proudly with her first gift ever — two goats that will help provide income for her family and give the girl a future of hope.
Teopista, 10, an AIDS orphan and World Vision-sponsored child in Uganda, stands proudly with her first gift ever — two goats that will help provide income for her family and give the girl a future of hope.
Photo ©2008 Sylvia Nabanoba/World Vision
Teopista does not remember her parents. There are conflicting reports about when they died, but she was a toddler when she became an orphan. Her father succumbed to AIDS first, and within a year, her mother died of the same horrible disease.

Various relatives passed Teopista around before the girl found a family to take her in. "Teopista first lived with her mother's sister, but she complained that other relatives were not assisting her to look after the child, so she dumped her here," says Teopista's aunt, 48-year-old Restetuta.

Teopista has stayed with her aunt in Uganda's Rakai district for six years now. Restetuta and her husband, Vincent, 53, look after their niece as well as six of their seven children and their newborn grandson.

Her first gift

As subsistence farmers, Restetuta and her husband don't have much, but they took in Teopista even as they struggled to provide basics for their own children. Soon after Teopista was brought to their house in 2003, World Vision began working in the area. Restetuta got to know about World Vision and registered Teopista, hoping to gain some assistance.

Take action

  • Give the gift of a goat through World Vision's Gift Catalog. Provide nourishment, income, and fertilizer for crop yields to a family like Teopista's.
  • Sponsor a HopeChild in a community impacted by the AIDS crisis, and make a life-changing difference for a child like Teopista.

About two years later, the child got a sponsor from New Zealand, and in March of this year, she got the first gift she had ever received in her life — two goats from World Vision.

"I was very happy when I got the goats," says Teopista shyly. "I think they will be of use to us. We will get money from them. I thank World Vision for thinking about me, too."

Her aunt feels the same way since the family has been having difficulty getting school supplies, as well as some other necessities like sugar and soap. "We were very happy and are still happy because we know that those goats will be of benefit to us in future," says Restetuta.

Soon after receiving the goats, one of them gave birth to a kid and is pregnant again. Unfortunately, the second goat had a miscarriage, losing its two babies. But Teopista still feels hopeful about her future because of this gift. She and her aunt have plans of how to utilize the goats.

'I thank World Vision so much'

Teopista is shown here with her aunt, who took the girl in after both of her parents died of AIDS.
Teopista is shown here with her aunt, who took the girl in after both of her parents died of AIDS.
Photo ©2008 Sylvia Nabanoba/World Vision

"When the goats give birth again, we will sell off some of the younger [goats]," says Restetuta. "We will use the money to buy Teopista a school uniform, books, and beddings. We can also buy food with some of the money. I thank World Vision so much for all the help they have given us, and I pray they keep helping us."

The goats also provide a source of fertilizers for the family's garden. Restetuta and her husband grow green bananas, beans, maize, and cassava. The family consumes most of the food that they grow, but they sell a little surplus when times are good. The area has had no rain for more than two months now, and Restetuta's garden has not produced much food. But the goats have made valuable contributions, as their manure is helping the meager harvest be of good quality.

It's amazing to see how the simple gift of a pair of goats is making such a huge difference in Teopista's life, providing long-term income to secure her future. You can make a difference for a child like Teopista by giving a goat or other farm animal to a child or family in need. Take a look at the ways you can help below.


Three ways you can help


>> Pray that Teopista's goats will be healthy and fertile so that her family members can have the help they need. Also, pray for other children like Teopista, who have been affected by AIDS around the world.
>> Provide the gift of a goat through World Vision's Gift Catalog. A goat can provide nourishment, income boost, and fertilizer for increased crop yields. Your gift can transform the life of a child like Teopista.
>> Sponsor a HopeChild in a community impacted by the AIDS crisis. Your love and support can make a life-changing difference for a child like Teopista who is affected by the greatest humanitarian disaster of our time.

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