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The “Grand Goat-giving Ceremony”



  • December 15, 2019
Kelsey Campbell
Kelsey Campbell

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You might think goats don’t belong at church. But at a goat-giving ceremony, they’re the honored guests.

In many countries, owning an animal can as much as triple an impoverished person’s annual income. And since goats produce milk, cheese, and offspring that can be sold at market, they are one of the most valuable animals a family can possess.

So, when a small village on Ishwa Island in Rwanda received several goats provided by generous donors, they decided to throw a party. 

The recipients of the goats gathered at the local church to receive their animals in a special celebration dubbed the “Grand Goat-giving Ceremony.” They rejoiced together — singing, clapping, and dancing with the goats — giving thanks that they now had a better way to provide for their families.

The pastor then gave the grateful families a special challenge. He asked them to “pay it forward” by giving away their goats’ first offspring to someone else in need.  

One of the recipients was a grandmother named Agnes. Her house had recently been destroyed when a terrible storm ripped through the village, forcing her to move in with her daughter and infant grandson. Still, she was determined to give her goat’s first kid away rather than sell it and fix her house.

When Agnes’ goat gave birth, she willingly gave the kid to another family so they could receive the same benefits she had — such as the vitamin-rich milk that now kept her grandchild healthy and well-nourished.

Agnes’ generosity was doubly rewarded when her goat soon gave birth two more times. By selling these two kids, Agnes was able to afford the timber and materials needed to rebuild her home. She was able to start over!

This Christmas season, you can help provide another person like Agnes with a goat and all the benefits that come with it.

One goat can produce nearly 1 ton of milk every year, which can be turned into consumed, sold, or turned into high-demand products such as cheese, butter, and yogurt.

Not to mention, as in Agnes’ case, selling a goat’s kid can help during more trying times.

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