The Animals Are My Bank - Poverty Relief

Graphic showing person with goat

 In late 2013, as opposition military forces approached Mary Nyanjok Puoch's home outside Bor town, she had no choice but to flee to a nearby forest where she would end up hiding for a month with her family. "We were suffering to the point that we were only living off of leaves, which we would boil and eat," Mary says. When the fighting ended, Mary returned to a path of destruction. "The houses  burned, and I lost all of my cattle." Afterward, Mary's family struggled to scrape by, and then three years later, her husband Malith died from an illness, leaving the 35-year-old mother of six with no means to support her children. "I didn't have any income," Mary says. "I was facing a lot of difficulties because no one was taking care of me, and this area does not support agriculture." Then in 2016, because she was a widow with no source of income, Mary was identified as one of several vulnerable women heads of households to receive goats under a CFC-supported organization's livestock program. At a livestock fair, Mary was able to purchase three breeding-age animals from a local vendor using a credit initiative that is part of this program. These animals offer multiple benefits, including milk, to improve family nutrition and income, and as valuable assets that sell quickly when the family needs cash. After one year, each woman "pays forward" the loan by providing another vulnerable woman in the community with three animals.  In a country where people in rural areas have little to no access to financial or savings institutions, the support this CFC-supported organization is providing to these women can ultimately help improve their livelihoods and elevate their status in the community. Through the program, Mary and the other women also receive advice and mentoring from the staff of the CFC-supported organization and community-based animal health workers trained and supported by this CFC-supported organization to help with animal husbandry and vaccines.

Poverty Relie