Digging in your pockets to help starving people in Africa is all very well, but there is always a nagging doubt that most of the money will go towards administration costs or that supplies may be hijacked. Supplies that do make it are quickly consumed and if the drought prevails famine continues.
That is less a concern, however, when every pound;54 raised is used to provide a family with two goats. The milk gives children the chance to survive to adulthood, surplus products can be sold for their schooling and with education they are more likely to live poverty-free. Crossbred with local goats, the Toggenburg or Anglo Nubian breeds from UK farms can produce 12 times the normal yield, providing an income which allows the present generation to buy tools, grain and other crops to improve their land.
This is just one of the projects organised by the Farm-Africa (Food and Agricultural Research Management) charity, which works in partnership with farmers and herders in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, on pastoral development.
To encourage schools to raise money for the project, Farm-Africa has produced free primary and secondary packs, each comprising a poster, leaflets and case studies showing how goats transform the lives of poor African families, together with classroom and fundraising ideas.
Pupils are shown how the formation of goat groups has led to villages working together. In a healthy village, fewer people have diseases, and increased revenue from goat products funds houses, schools and much more.