Join Those Who've Given Goats
Read About Polio and PTSD Victims in South Sudan
Goats For The Old Goat helps support those who have been affected by polio, and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, related to recent wars.
You can read more about our work with those affected by polio here.For information on our work with PTSD and war survivors, click here.
Ker, a Dinka man from south Sudan, blinded by his slave master in the north, has come to the USA for treatment. The latest news on his stay can be found here:
Why Goats For The Old Goat?
Goats For The Old Goat began as Ellen Ratner was preparing for her 60th birthday. Although Ellen can’t believe it, she is in fact an “old goat.” Birthdays are a big deal in Ellen’s family but she did not want presents. Because of her work in Southern Sudan (a part of which was recently called “the hungriest place on earth”) she wanted her friends and others to contribute money for goats, so that people would be able eat and children would not have a lifetime legacy of malnutrition.
Goats can graze easily on the grasses of Southern Sudan. They provide milk (up to a liter a day) and cheese. She goats multiply. Goats are used for food and their dung is used as fertilizer. By pooling resources, neighbors can begin micro-businesses as small dairies.
How it works
A she-goat can provide up to one liter of milk a day, making a difference between real nourishment and hunger. Goat milk is considered high quality protein, a good source for calcium and fat and a good source for riboflavin, which is important for the body's energy production. Excess milk can be made into cheese and sold in the market, and she- goats have kids, building income for families and single women. One goat opens a world of survival, and allows a family to have the safety net to pursue education and micro-business. Neighbors can work together to start small local dairies. As there is no need to homogenize goat’s milk, it is simple to begin production for sale.
War in Sudan
Southern Sudan consists of three parts: Northern Sudan is mainly Arab Muslim, Western Sudan (Darfur) is mainly African Muslim and Southern Sudan is mainly Christian and Traditionalist. Two wars between the North and South have been fought since Britain gave independence to Sudan. It is estimated that four million people have been killed since 1956. The most recent war ended in 2005 with a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which directed that in January 2011 a referendum would be held by the citizens of Southern Sudan on independence, and the creation of a separate nation. The vote took place in January as scheduled and Southen Sudan will be the world's newest country in July 2011. Over 200,000 people were taken to the North as slaves during the war. As these people return to the South, many by Arab “slave retrievers,” they have no means of support. Goats provide a first lifeline to these recently freed slaves.