Goats are a key element of the successful organic farming program we support, serving the Gunung Palung forest area of West Kalimantan. Goat manure helps to improve the quality of the soil – and maintaining soil quality is essential to end the environmentally damaging practice of clearing rainforest to make new farmland.
The Goats-for-Widows project, provides goats to help improve the livelihoods of the area’s most disadvantaged households – widows, often raising families alone.
Health In Harmony, through Project ASRI, has now given 69 goats to 36 widows, along with training and other assistance. In return the participants pay back two baby goats, which are distributed to two other households in need. They also pay ASRI a few bags of manure, which are distributed to local organic farmers (trained by ASRI). Thereafter, the offspring and manure may be sold, providing the widows much-needed income. These households, once marginalized, are now developing a growing local market for organic fertilizer, for sustainable economic development. Goats are a gift that keeps on giving!
Program supporters often ask us about the potential to use these goats for milk and cheese production. But in Borneo, the soils are too poor to provide sufficient nutrients for goat-milk production and the majority of the population is lactose intolerant, creating a lack of demand. Further, the breeds of goat known for quality milk tend to be somewhat fragile. But the organic goat-manure and meat industry is doing well.
We always welcome support to expand this successful program. These days, we are also considering ways to provide veterinarian visits to provide healthcare for the goats! It costs $250 to provide a pair of goats for a widow. Donate today.