Goats for Families

Donate to the Goats for Families Project: 

  • Project Status: Active, Ongoing (read more below)
  • Intermediate Funding Goal: $1,200 (enables us to deliver a herd of thirty-six head)
  • Donations as of Feb 15: Zero

Five Year Goal: Provide at least one goat per household for the dozen villages in the vicinity of Harar, Ethiopia.

Over the course of three years, over 200 goats have been delivered to two villages: Airer and Korome. To date, the goats have proven to be an eminently sustainable resource, as the villagers now have healthy grand kids and beyond.

Why goats, you might ask?


Goats are an extremely hardy, low maintenance, self-sustaining source of wealth, particularly well-suited to thrive on the sparse vegetation and in the weather extremes in this region of Ethiopia.

In addition to providing up to a liter of milk per day, their dung is used as fertilizer for crops, and they make baby goats. In addition to providing daily sustenance, a handful of goats can jump start self-sustaining dairy and goat-trading businesses.

What does it cost to delivery a goat to each family?

the-ethiopia-projects-goats-for-families-1To date, the cost of delivering each goat has averaged about 800 Ethiopian Birr (~$35 US).

This unit cost reflects buying the goats in sufficient quantities (typically three dozen at a time) in order to amortize the cost of transportation. Transportation costs include the car/truck, driver, and gasoline for transporting our team of volunteers to the cattle market and an additional heavy-duty, all-terrain truck rental and driver for transporting the goats to the villages after they are bought. Additional costs include refreshments and lunch for our volunteers, tips for the local boys who shepherd the goats, branding paint, and sales taxes.

Important: In order to make the goat purchases and deliveries time- and cost-effective, enough funds are needed to buy at least three dozen goats at a time. At roughly $35 per head, every $1200 raised allows us to deliver another herd of sustainable wealth to the people we are serving.

What is the purchasing and deliver process like?

the-ethiopia-projects-goats-for-families-3The labor-intensive process of purchasing and delivering goats to the villagers typically takes most of a full day.

The nearest source is the Babille Cattle Market, about a 90 minute drive from Harar and about 100 miles from the Somali border.

The price is subject to local supply and demand, which depends upon the season, the weather, the mood of the seller, and even the time of day but is typically around 600 Birr on average. Importantly, there are typically no bulk sellers. Cost is negotiated with individual sellers one goat at a time… which makes this a fun and intimate, but very labor intensive, way to do business. Naturally, females are preferred for their ability to reproduce.

Learn More: Photo Gallery: Goats for Families: Korome

Learn more: Video: Goats for Families: Korome: First Delivery

Donate to the Goats for Families Project: 


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