From the Field

Delivering joy: One goat, chicken and alpaca at a time

Rosemary holds one of the goats she received through the World Vision Gift Catalog. Rosemary benefited from drinking goat’s milk, which provided nutritional support so she could be healthy, not hungry.

Family, friends, and blessings are top of mind during Thanksgiving. To express our gratitude, we’d like to share a few stories of how the lives of children and their families change when they receive animals through the World Vision Gift Catalog. We hope these tales will warm your holiday.  

Goats nourish Rosemary’s dreams

In ZambiaRosemary’s family struggled with hunger and poverty for generations.  

“When you become poor, even your thoughts become poor,” said Rosemary’s grandmother, Patricia, during an interview with World Vision in 2016. “You fail to differentiate between where you are and where you need to be.” 

When her family was given goats from the World Vision Gift Catalog, the quality of their lives improved. Right away, Rosemary, who was a toddler at the time, benefited from drinking goat’s milk, which provided nutritional support so she could be healthy, not hungry. 

Goats also enabled her family to diversify their crops and try new income-generating activities, which — combined with Rosemary becoming sponsored when she was 6 — have empowered them to thrive! Now, she’s one of the top students in school.  

Boy holds a bowl of eggs that provide him and his mother nutrition.
Chickens are helping lift Padrick and his mother, Catherine, out of poverty. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Feathered friends and eggs all around

Before receiving chickens through the World Vision Gift Catalog, Padrick and his mom, Catherine, faced constant hunger. During seasons of drought in Sinazongwe, Zambia, their meals grew even more scarce. 

Their lives would improve significantly after they received four chickens through the Gift Catalog. Chickens are equally easy to raise as goats and will naturally multiply to impact generations of children. Each family that receives chickens is asked to give back hatched chicks to help another family in need. 

“Those chickens actually came like God sending them directly to us,” Catherine recalled when she spoke with World Vision in 2016. “All this would have not been possible without the chickens. 

A boy in Myanmar holds a duck provided through the Gift Catalog.
Ducklings through the World Vision Gift Catalog provide 10-year-old Aung and his family with nutrition and income in Myanmar. (©2019 World Vision/photo by Khaing Min Htoo)

In Myanmar, ducks are providing a steady supply of eggs to feed 10-year-old Aung and his family. They also sell the ducklings for income. “I help to feed the ducklings, and I play with them,” says Aung. “They are so cute.”  

Loading up on alpaca laughs

Alpacas help improve children’s health and nutrition — and their families’ livelihoods — in Guarguallá GrandeEcuador 

In total, 266 families in three mountainous communities raise 420 alpacas. When the communities received alpacas through the Gift Catalog, World Vision staff trained members on how to care for them. Since then, alpacas have provided greater opportunities for families.  

Boy with alpaca in Ecuador
Eleven-year-old Andy Guamo plays with an alpaca near Riobamba, Ecuador. (©2019 World Vision/photo by Chris Huber)

And they are known to deliver some fun! Sometimes with so much hilarity that 11-year-old Andy roared with laughter with one alpaca during a World Vision visit to his community.  

Before the introduction of alpacas, many children had suffered from malnutrition due to limited crop varieties and lack of economic stability. After reintroducing alpacas to the region, the communities have become healthier physically and now are able to dream about their children’s future. 

Find more animals that make an impact!

Chris Huber, Kristy J. O’Hara-Glaspie, and Laura Reinhardt of World Vision’s U.S. staff and Khaing Min Htoo of World Vision’s Myanmar staff contributed this article. 

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