Only a few individual members of the 20 000 people that live in the surrounding area of the project, was influenced by us to invest in cattle. We realized that cattle were to expensive for the rural family and that we need to incorporate something that was more inclusive of the community. We decided to establish a herd of goats alongside the cattle and spread the word that our ram would be allowed to serve local ewes if they meet our bio-security standards.
To our amazement, local people started to invest in goats, and we saw a reduction in alcohol abuse among those who chose to participate in the program.
Once we noticed that the whole herd of goats have broken out of their camp. Days of search delivered nothing, and we assumed the worst. On a Sunday afternoon, 14 days later, we heard the bleeding of thirsty goats, chased-on by a man. He arrived from a two-day journey to return the goats from a village 40km away where they were discovered.
Principles we learned:
Maximize the community participation by designing the project in a manner that people do not need to ensure huge expenses to participate.
Participation buys goodwill en helps resolve security and other destructive behaviour.