Goats, Ghana and Gain

How CHIPS’ Animal Rearing Programme is transforming prospects

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On a recent trip to Ghana Paul Maxwell-Rose visited Wulensi, the capital of the Nanumba South district in northern Ghana.

Among many inspirational stories, Fatima’s stood out, in its simple evocation of the life-changing difference our work can make, both now, and in the future.

Fatima’s husband died six years ago, leaving her to bring up five children on her own. In Ghana only primary education is free, and with three children of secondary school age Fatima had been struggling to make ends meet for several years.

Joining CHIPS’ Animal Rearing Programme has enabled Fatima to stabilise the family finances, and is acting as a catalyst for a more secure – and ambitious – future.

Before working with our group Fatima had no animals of her own. On starting the programme she bought a goat of her own, and CHIPS gave her two more. She now has seven animals, having also sold four – enabling her to send her older three children to school.

Fatima’s animal rearing group meets once a month in Wulensi to discuss the challenges (and share the successes!) of keeping animals. The support and encouragement in these meetings is incredibly helpful, and the two CHIPS team members who attend are able to share their skills and experience too – sometimes bringing vets and agricultural experts as well.

Fatima now has her sights firmly set on a brighter future. If she sells four to six more goats, she’ll have enough capital to invest in a rice processing business – transforming her ability to generate income not just for education, but the whole family.

Previously Fatima was dependent on menial work for others for all her income – and was finding it increasingly difficult to keep her head above water. She now has fulfilling self-employment, has turned around the family finances, and is improving not only her prospects, but those of her children.

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