Jean Claude Kubwayo knew that goats would be a wise investment.
In rural Burundian communities like Jean Claude’s, goats and other livestock can provide a regular supply of meat, milk, and manure for crops. Animal products add nutritional and caloric value to a family’s diet, so simply owning livestock can improve a family’s overall health.
Jean Claude had dreamed of starting his own goat-selling business, but didn’t have the $50 needed to do so. He joined a savings group through his local church, saving 25 cents a week. As he grew his savings, he also took out a $50 loan from his group, choosing to invest in a particularly hardy breed of goats, imported from nearby Rwanda.
While the typical local breed only delivered one baby per cycle, Jean Claude’s Rwandan goats delivered three, providing him and his family with not only a steady supply of milk and food but also a reliable source of income as they sold the offspring to others in their community.
Jean Claude is married to Elizabeth, and together they have five children between the ages of 2 and 15. When asked how his family has changed since starting his goat business, Jean Claude replied,
My family has improved economically; I can pay for school fees for my children. Before, I was able to buy school materials for my children, but I had to ask for a loan. Today, I organize myself through my savings so that I can buy school materials, provide for food, and give my family everything they need.
In his savings group, Jean Claude shared, “I learn a lot about God’s love, which pushes us to support each other.” Living this lesson out, he has allowed his neighbors to breed their goats with his, improving the resilience of his neighbors’ herds. If his neighbor is unable to pay, Jean Claude is happy to offer the service freely.
Whether it be goats, a sewing machine, or a plot of land to grow crops, we’ve seen the kind of transformation that is possible when men and women invest in their own dreams.
That’s why in this year’s gift catalog, we’ve highlighted some of the poverty-fighting tools used most commonly in the work of families that HOPE International serves. Leveraging HOPE-network services, these men and women work tirelessly to provide for their families and serve their communities.
We invite you to join hands with remarkable men and women like Jean Claude through a Gift of HOPE this Christmas season.