December 30, 2015
By Simon Chambers
For Awatu Mponda and her grandmother, Fatuma Musa, there is no longer a need to complain about poverty or bad health. In their language, the word “sikitu” means just this- there’s no need to despair about a poor economic situation or poor health conditions that a person faces in life.
Sikitu is also what Awatu chose to name the goat she received as part of the Diocese of Masasi’s Preventive Health and Food Security Project that is funded by PWRDF and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD).
It would be easy for Awatu and Fatuma to live in despair. Awatu developed epilepsy as a child. After both her parents died, her grandmother became her primary caregiver, which significantly increased her responsibilities. Awatu helps out as much as her condition permits—collecting water and firewood—to lighten Fatuma’s workload.
Awatu and Fatuma’s village of Songambele is one of 21 villages in the project, which provided goats (and training in how to care for and house the goats) to 22 families like Awatu and Fatuma’s. Just two months later, Sikitu delivered a female kid. Fatuma, with help from family and other families involved in the project, built a goat shed for Sikitu and her daughter.
Having goats has provided some economic stability for the family. “Awatu and I don’t know what it takes to buy milk these days because our lovely Sikitu provides us with three litres of milk every day,” said Fatuma.
The Diocese of Masasi provides training in the villages as well, in issues including gender equality, project management, and more. “The training has shaped the attitude of the community and many project members, and Fatuma and Awatu are among the representatives of the vulnerable persons in Songambele village who are actively keeping their goats in good condition,” said Joachim Sapuli, the Diocese of Masasi’s agriculture and livestock field officer for the project.
“Our life has started to change since we received our goat,” said Fatuma. “Great thanks to the Diocese of Masasi and your partners PWRDF and DFATD, and please tell them that with this project people are now believing that Awatu was not only a dreamer of hopes to improve her life, but also a performer as her dream has turned into a reality.”