From the goats’ perspective, life had suddenly taken an unexpected turn. Literally. The two had been herded into the back of a van and were trying desperately to keep their balance as the vehicle lurched over some of Zimbabwe’s most neglected roads. As the vehicle turned into a small clearing, the four-legged passengers lost their balance and tumbled to the floor. Their indignant cries of protest were silenced only when the vehicle stopped, the back doors opened, and they were once again on solid ground.
Life had taken an unexpected turn for the humans, too, who met the bewildered creatures as they hopped anxiously out of the back of the van. These goats were a surprising answer to their prayers. More than mere animals, they represented the very real possibility of a better life for their families and a future now filled with hope.
This happy meeting was orchestrated by a compassionate soul named Munashe “Nash” Chikoto. He had entered our You Matter Giveaway contest last year and was one of several individuals who won the Giveaway campaign and received $250 from MATTER to help improve their communities.
As project manager for the construction of the Jeannie Burns Buckner Maternal and Pediatric Hospital in Binga and a police officer in the area, Nash is an integral part of the community. He knows first-hand how poverty impacts the people living in this remote part of Zimbabwe.
Most families in Binga live on a small parcel of land with a hut, a vegetable garden and, if they’re fortunate, some livestock. Livestock not only provides families with food but can also be a form of extra income from selling surplus eggs or milk. For those families that are too poor to own livestock, they live at the mercy of their small gardens, hoping the weather cooperates so they can grow enough produce for their survival. Given that Zimbabwe is currently suffering from a many years-long drought, the crops are slim and families are hungry.
Using the $250, Nash wanted to give away the possibility for a better life, so he bought livestock for six families in Binga. Specifically, he bought them each a goat. A pregnant goat. On the day described above, Nash and a local pastor set about to deliver two of the six goats to two grateful families.
“By giving people this livestock, we’re giving them folds,” explained Nash. “And by the end of the year, the folds will give folds. This is how they can grow their own herd of goats. This will help them provide for their families in so many ways. Thank you so much to the MATTER community for helping to make this happen.”
Added Pastor William, “I’m encouraging these families, that when their goats bear kids and if they multiply, that they pass along one kid to another family to multiply this blessing.”
Our two bewildered goats, now named “Rejoice” and “God is Good”, stand alongside their new owners who keep them close with rope tied loosely around their necks. Rejoice is with an older woman and God is Good grazes next to a young couple. Pastor William steps up and offers a prayer of blessing over the animals and their families.
For Nash, this is a sacred moment. Living in such a remote area, these families need all the help they can get. “I’m glad I can do something that is life-changing for them. Let’s pray all the goats we’re giving away have twins so these families will be doubly blessed!”
Thanks, Nash, for caring for the people in your community. We’re honored to help you fulfill your vision of giving them the possibility of a better life. May the goats multiply and the families prosper!