We’re not kidding when we say that a goat brings credibility. For a poor family in Nepal the gift of a goat brings more than just meat on feet! It represents dignity to the poorest people as having a goat in rural areas of Nepal is the equivalent of having a good credit rating.
It means that the local store owner will sell you rice and lentils to feed your children because you have a guaranteed source of income. The gift of a goat provides the owner with the ability to produce and sell milk and cheese as well as the meat. It gives them the hope of a future through the sale of its kids, and in so doing, allows the families to send their own children to school.
We work closely with the Nepali church community in rural areas. It is the members of the local church who see their neighbours’ need and bring them, Christian or Non-Christian, to the attention of those who can help. Once the family is identified, they are given a young goat on the understanding that the first kid the goat produces will be gifted back to the church so that it can be given to another in need. All subsequent kids from the goat then belong to the family to keep or to sell as they choose.
For a poor family in Nepal the gift of a goat brings more than just meat on feet! It represents dignity to the poorest people as having a goat in rural areas of Nepal is the equivalent of having a good credit rating in the West.
Miley Didi was one of the women the church sought to help. Her husband had abandoned her and taken her two sons with him. He left Miley Didi with nothing but a grass shack, no source of income and the village wide stigma of having driven her husband away. Left utterly destitute the church stepped in and gifted Miley Didi not only a goat but the offer of friendship. She was not a believer, but seeing that these Christians treated her with love that she felt she didn’t deserve, she gave her heart to Jesus. She gave the goat’s first kid back to the church. Now she has four goats and a regular income that has allowed her not only to survive but to thrive in her relationship with a Heavenly Father she knows loves and provides for her.
In Nepal 90% of all clothing is still made by seamstresses and tailors. Everything from the bright traditional kurtis and saris worn by women to school uniforms to suits and shirts for men is produced by hand. What is a dying art in the West is still a vital skill in Nepal.
So when we heard about Mary’s desire to start a sewing based project in Far West Nepal we were happy to help. Mary is a believer in one of our partner churches. Her passion is to empower the women in her community by teaching them a skill they can use to generate income for their families. She wanted to bring all women together to not only learn how to sew but to build relationships with each other.
To do this Mary needed sewing machines. Fonic’s response was to hold a fundraiser at our 2014 Annual Meeting. As a result of the money raised, Mary, through our partnership with the Church she is a part of, was able to buy five sewing machines for the project. She started by inviting her neighbours along and now the project is up and running. They start the day with a time of devotion and Bible study and then follow a program from the basics of marking and cutting patterns to sewing baby clothes and sari blouses.
Mary is a believer in one of our partner churches… She wanted to bring all women together to not only learn how to sew but to build relationships with each other.
One of the most exciting aspects of this growing outreach is Mary’s own passion for women. In rural Nepal women are often tied to their homes one week of every month having no access to the sanitary protection we take for granted in the West. Mary’s women have started producing a cheap, reusable solution to address this issue which has seen a new freedom for the women of the area.
It is truly inspirational what God can do with one innovative woman’s heart to serve her neighbours.