Gifts that last a lifetime

Timothy K. Mtonga (61) and Christine Mtonga (54) pictured with their grandchildren in their farm, Chiwayu village, Chipata district, Zambia.

A goat isn’t the kind of gift you’d expect to find under the Christmas tree!

However, the gift of a goat could be the ideal present for a friend or family member – a gift that gives both the recipient a great feeling, while at the same time doing real good for a family in need in Africa.

This Christmas, Irish development charity Gorta-Self Help Africa is offering shoppers the chance to select one of its practical ‘Lifetime Gifts’, allowing them to help rural families escape the cycle of hunger and poverty in some of the poorest regions on Earth.

From livestock to farming tools, seed to irrigation systems, the charity gifts, starting from just €10 will help small farming families in sub-Saharan Africa to produce more food on their farm, improve their incomes and brighten their future.

“We love giving thoughtful presents to our loved ones, and it’s even more rewarding to know that our gifts can do much more than that,” says Martha Hourican, Fundraising Director at Gorta-Self Help Africa.

“When smallholder farmers receive a goat, a chicken or seeds, they receive the gift of a future. Those presents mean they can start increasing their farm production, provide better food and a better diet for their children, and improve their family’s income in the long run,” she added.

For vulnerable farming families in sub-Saharan Africa, the impact of receiving livestock, farm inputs and training is invaluable.

Christine and Timothy Mtonga, farmers from Chaola village in Eastern Zambia saw the benefits of Gorta-Self Help Africa’s Christmas ‘Lifetime Gifts’ in the past.

The couple received goats from Gorta-Self Help Africa, and have since established a thriving small business rearing and selling livestock in their community. With the extra income they have improved their farm and their home, while their household diet has also improved, says Christine.

“When you give goats to a farmer, it provides a jump-start for that person to improve their life. That’s exactly what happened to us,” she explains.

To find out more about Gorta-Self Help Africa’s Lifetime Gifts this Christmas visit: www.selfhelpafrica.org

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