2016 News: The first 15 heifers in this project have produced 28 offspring to date. While 3 of the original 15 heifers died of hoof and mouth disease, the project has grown from 15 to a total of 40 heifers.
With proceeds from our 2015 Valentine’s Benefit Dance we were able to support 3 more caregiver family groups with heifers. There are an additional 12 groups ready to participate in the project, this time in groups of 3 rather than 5. It’s been realized by the participants that smaller groups will still be manageable, while producing milk and heifers for all members in less time.
In 2016, a cross breed heifer (resistant to tropical diseases), purchased locally, costs in the neighbourhood of $450 Cdn. So, LITA’s portion of 75% is approximately = $350 per heifer.
More on LITA Heifers for Caregivers Project: It is more enriching for an orphaned child to be raised in a healthy family setting than in an orphanage. LITA looks for lasting and effective ways to support and empower caregivers who welcome orphaned children into their homes and families.
As a result, when asked for their input, it was the very people we wanted to assist who designed our Heifers for Caregivers project.
Faced with the opportunity to receive financial support from LITA towards an income generating activity designed to help provide for the basic needs of the orphaned children in their care, the caregivers assembled, and came up with a great model for a heifer project.
127 caregivers organized themselves in groups of 5, and got to work collectively building one heifer pen between each group, all growing grass for feed, and saving 25% of the value of a heifer, plus 10% for emergency medical costs for the animal, per group. LITA agreed to support them with the remaining 75% of the cost of the heifer.
Each heifer is bred once she comes of age. Once birthed and of age, the offspring is passed to the next member in the group. The milk being produced by the mother is shared between her calf and the families, providing increased nutrition for the children in care. On, and on, the program continues and expands, until in a few years each member will have a heifer and there will be an abundance of milk, at which time, the caregivers plan is to open a milk co-operative and sell the excess in the trading center.
To date LITA donors have helped to purchase 18 heifers for 84 caregivers who have over 220 orphaned children living with them.
Thanks for your interest in this project for caregivers supporting orphaned children in their homes. Click here to donate.