Our goats’ milk continues to nourish orphaned, AIDS-affected and other vulnerable infants at nutritional risk. We deliver milk to villages, to assessed babies, and some collect from our Centre. Any excess milk is frozen for storage.
Sadly, we lost 5 babies on the programme in recent months, which is not uncommon as we serve the most vulnerable. Triplets were born near Thamanda, and they joined the scheme, as the mother was too severely malnourished herself to produce milk, but just the little girl survived.
HIV+ mothers struggle to wean earlier than normal for the culture, as still recommended by health officials in the rural areas, so our milk is a lifeline to many.
Individuals make up society and individual stories make up Life in Malawi. Like little Thokazani (her name means “we give thanks” ) who was brought to us by her aunt. She was just one week old, and her mother died in childbirth- probably due to her husband’s beatings causing birth complications.
Tiny Thokazani was just wrapped in rags, and her aunt had no way of feeding her, so we gave clothes and a blanket, and included her on our milk programme. Hopefully she’ll survive.
Our goats are doing well. We’ve thinned down the numbers, keeping the most productive milk-wise, and releasing others to trained personnel. This retains the best for our breeding programme, benefits local families with good nutrition and the basis of a small business, and relieves the stress of finding enough fresh greenstuff during the dry season
The 9-month ongoing saga of trying to import registered saanen goats (high milk producers) raged throughout the trip. All was progressing until foot&mouth was found in South Africa so an export ban was introduced, which meant our three goats were trapped there. The ban has since been lifted, and Permits sorted, but an extra level of quarantine has been introduced so the goats have to be held both in South Africa before leaving, and in Malawi on arrival.
It’s been a long and difficult battle, but when these goats finally arrive on site, not only will they improve our stock’s milk production, but their bloodlines will make our flock of national significance.
This is page 2 Summer trip 2011