It Started With a Goat

“I got a goat from FH in 2015 and bought a cow by rearing, breeding and selling these goats. At present I have two cows and three goats as well as some chickens. Now my family members are in good health and don’t need to worry about food or education. Both of my children are in school.” - Rakeya Begum, Bangladesh

With a one-time $75 gift of a FH Sturdy Goat, a family in Canada changed the life of a family in Bangladesh - forever!

Rakeya Begum and her family lived in a typical two bedroom house made of tin and bamboo. Her husband, Rafiqul, farmed their small plot of land, but it didn’t produce enough to support them. They lived hand-to-mouth, struggling with marital strife, hunger, waterborne illnesses, and a lack of access to basic necessities like clean water and toilets.

“In 2012, FH started working in Char Borobila,” Rakeya recounts. “Inspired by the work of FH, I formed a [women’s] savings group and named it Ashar Alo - Light of Hope.” This group was the beginning of transformation for Rakeya and her neighbours. Through it, the women learned about accounting, family health, women’s rights, values, and practical skills, like sewing. “Through sewing training, I was able to increase our family income,” Rakeya says.

A few years later, Rakeya was overjoyed to receive a FH Gift Guide goat. By leveraging this gift, she has built up a small herd of domestic animals that keep on giving. Cows for milk and chickens for eggs - both boosting her family’s nutrition and income. And goats for breeding. In Rakeya’s community, goats function as a savings account of sorts as well as an emergency fund - when an unexpected crisis strikes, the family can sell a few goats to pay hospital bills, mend a broken roof, travel to the nearest city, or whatever it is they need to do.

“I’m grateful to FH because FH has opened my eyes and is contributing to the development of my family,” Rakeya shares. “I never thought before that I would earn for the family and be able to serve the neighbours. ...Now I’m contributing financially in the family and helping neighbours. I feel proud that even I can contribute to the development of the community.”

Rakeya purchased a sewing machine which provides another source of income for her family.

Today, Rakeya’s home is fitted with a tube well for clean water access and a sanitary latrine - both of which have improved the family’s health. Her sons are in school and their youngest is thriving in a FH after-school kids club. In addition, as their situation stabilized, so did Rakeya and Rafiqul’s marriage. “I am very grateful to FH because FH has helped me to change a lot in my personal life. I learned how to become financially self-sufficient and how to bring people in the area together to support each other.” 

Buy a goat to help another family like Rakeya’s.




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Food for the Hungry: It Started With a Goat
It Started With a Goat
Food for the Hungry
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