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.
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.
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.
"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.
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