It is sometimes difficult for nomadic parents to send their children to school because it takes them away from their work as herders. We, not only do not want them to lose this skill, but want to bring new ideas to traditional herd management through the children at school. To this end we proposed to try a new breeding program in goats mixing the “chèvre rousse” of Maradi, a smaller breed that produces more milk and more offspring with the local hardier, more nomadic breed, in hopes this will achieve a hardier more productive breed. Friends of Niger responded to our request and funded the purchase of 20 red goats from Maradi to be managed by the school children and provide support for the school. Issouf Bazo (father of five of the school children) will manage the program implicating the children in the care of the goats, a vaccination program, and managing milk for the students and sales of goats for needs of the school.
It was not an easy process to get these goats, we had to send someone first to Abalak–no goats there–and finally all the way to Maradi. He escorted them in a truck through Zinder, Agadez and finally Tamesna. The poor goats were traumatized and exhausted, but they arrived just in time for us to present them to the school before we left. Now I hope they can relax and love their new home.
Thanks so much to FON for funding this new herd for Tamesna school.