The year 2021 looks promising for over a hundred families in South Sudan’s Aweil County. While assistance was provided, it is obvious that their own resilience, hard work and persistence are helping them achieve zero hunger.
“The goats are my source of hope for our children’s future,” says Ajok Deng Yai, 50-year old, mother of six. Ajok, a widow, has lived in Aweil County, a part of Northern Bar-el-Ghazal State since 1988.
“I had 12 children but lost six of them to infection. I was afraid to lose remaining ones to hunger”, she shares. Helping mothers like Ajok was the main goal of the Heart of the Community Project funded by World Vision Hong Kong through providing families with livestock to boost their livelihood and income.
A total of 372 goats were distributed in Awiel East and North Counties to 124 families. They were also trained on raising livestock and proper feeding to enhance production and increase the supply of milk for their families’ use as well as for sale.
Ajok is among those who received goats in January 2020. She says, “I got three goats and it was a dream come true. At my age, I can no longer farm nor do anything to provide for my family. With the goats, it is easy for me. I can sell one and pay workers to cultivate my farm land during the planting season.”
I got three goats and it was a dream come true. At my age, I can no longer farm to provide for my family.With the goats, it is easy for me. I can sell one and pay workers to cultivate my farm on planting season.
World Vision’s Project Officer Tito Awen says, “Goats are productive and they produce twice a year. It is a good venture for people and easy to raise more gin less than three years as management is not as complicated as cattle.”
Now a proud owner of five goats, Ajok recalls, “We experience severe hunger every year around July and August but this time I managed to feed my children well because of the goats. I sold one and used the cash I earned for feeding, as the goats also provided ready milk for my children.”
Tito further adds, “World Vision used this approach because it is what the communities in Aweil East and North Counties had chosen as the most sustainable long term strategy for food insecurity. Their extra income is used to buy food, hire laborers for farming, and pay the school fees for the children. Goats’ milk is also good for children.”
Mothers like Ajok are the source of South Sudan’s hope for a bright future, with their dedication to make their children’s dreams a reality.
Story and photos by Scovia Faida Charles Duku, Communications Coordinator.