Around the world, MCC supports projects that help families make a better living, helping them pay for food or school for their children. Sometimes those projects involve animals — getting loans to buy them or learning new techniques to raise them. Here's a glimpse of some of the MCC animals and how they're at work across the globe.
MCC photo/Matthew Sawatzky
This cow belongs to to Phùng Thị Tuyết, who cares for her disabled son Trần Minh Sõn. He has suffered from severe disabilities since birth due to his family's exposure to dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange. The family received the cow from MCC partner Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) to help boost family income and prepare for Sõn's future care. “I want to have a saving pot, like cows and more cows, and one day when we need money, we will sell them,” Tuyết says.
Selling a year-old cow can bring as much as 20 million dong (US$890) which can buy a good motorbike, pay for education or provide start-up funding to open a small business. In 2015 VAVA provided cows to 20 households who have at least one family member affected by Agent Orange. By the end of the project, 120 families will have a cow.
Read more about MCC's work with victims of Agent Orange.
Yavana (left) and Khaled’s family received a pregnant goat from MCC partner Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training(LOST) as part of a project that offered families a goat along with training on how to care for and raise more goats. Families can increase their income by selling the milk or breeding more goats to sell.
These goats also are one way to help build peace between Syrian refugees fleeing conflict and the Lebanese communities that are hosting them. Ideally, as families increase their own financial security, they will feel less threatened by the Syrian presence. The training encouraged cooperation among the Christian, Shia and Sunni participants.
“Tensions make us even poorer,” says Ramy Lakkis, director of LOST. “If you need to sell milk, you shouldn’t have to limit the customers to people you agree with.”
Read more about MCC's work with refugees in Lebanon.
Sau Sarat joined a village savings bank in Trapang Khna village, Cambodia, in 2008. Every month members put in what money they can to start earning interest. Then after they've put in a certain amount, they can begin to borrow money from the bank to improve their businesses. “I started with one piglet," she says, "I wasn’t sure if I knew how to raise one, if it would live or die. But then I made a profit, so the next year I bought three piglets and the next more, and now I have 23. I time them so they are mature right during the Cambodian and Chinese holidays. That way I get maximum value. I am so thankful to the backing of MCC to help support the village bank. It has made a real difference in many peoples lives."
The bank was started by Takeo Community Forestry & Integrated Development Association, an MCC partner.
Padam Tondon wants to become a commercial chicken farmer, raising broilers for meat to sell locally. He took a 10,000 rupee loan to buy day-old chicks and special vitamins and to build an enclosure for when the chicks are larger. Tondon got the loan through MCC Nepal's partner Sakriya Sewa Samaj, which supports people living with HIV and AIDS through advocacy, community-based care and peer support groups. Participants get support and can access small loans for starting income generation projects or small businesses.
Amina Begun received goats as part of an income generation project in Bangladesh. She breeds the goats and then sells them to others as a source of income. She sometimes has as many as 10 breeding females at a time along with their kids — so many that people in her village call her "the goat lady."
The income-generation project was done by MCC with funding through MCC’s account at Canadian Food Grains Bank.
This rabbit was part of a project run by an MCC partner in Gaza before the crisis in July and August of 2014. A few of his rabbits, including this one, survived the attacks. People can breed the rabbits to sell, which gives them more money for food or school fees. Others use the rabbits to supplement their diets.
This goat survived the earthquake that destroyed or damaged 488,000 homes across Nepal in April of 2015. Anjana Nyasur's family, in the village of Dalchoki, purchased the goat with a loan through a project funded by MCC's account at Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
Raising and selling goats in Nepal can be a good source of income for families in a country that imports approximately 80 percent of its goats.
At the Sandra Jones vocational training program in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, girls are trained to raise rabbits. The program provides vocational skills for youth who have fallen significantly behind in education because of their backgrounds of being abused and or orphaned. They are given training in skills to help them earn a living like poultry rearing, rabbit keeping, vegetable production, bird health, bio safety, lighting and ventilation, marketing, budgeting and bookkeeping for small businesses.
Claude Dimanche, 22, is learning techniques of animal husbandry at a technical school in Desarmes, Haiti, as well as skills to start plant nurseries and harvest seeds. MCC partner Desarmes Professional School offers vocational training to help people who live in the countryside make a living there, instead of moving to the overcrowded capital.
With a contribution from the Canadian government and MCC after the 2010 earthquake, the school built four new workshops with eight additional classrooms; established programs in electricity and mechanics; began offering instruction in computers, English and business management for every student; and purchased a truck, outbuildings and animals for the agronomy program, as well as land for an experimental garden.
This goat belongs to Denenadji Josephine in Chad. Josephine was trained with other women of her village to raise healthier goats, chickens and ducks by MCC partner Baobab. Training on how to use vaccines helps people in the village maintain healthy animals, which earn more money when they’re sold at market.