and Cows Program for food Security and
Association is fighting hunger through goats and cows, We are
creating a self-reliance Maasai community.
to see the latest pictures from our beneficiaries.
aim of Goats and Cows Program is to empower Maasai families
with a gift of a cow or goat used for milk and school fees.
The Maasai people depend on goats and cows for a living. To
a Maasai, having a goat is like having money or a bank account
for an American. A goat is an asset as well as an operating
budget. This is the wisest economic incentive a Maasai family
can ever receive, as goats and cows hold the greatest value,
more than anything else in the Maasai pastoral society.
of the goats and cows program are to:
Help drought victims to rebuild their lives after a severe
• Make milk and cheese available to low-income families
and their children
• Make school fees available for needy students attending
primary and secondary schools
does the program works?
child in the U.S, for example, would contribute $30 (or $150
for a cow) to the Cows and Goats Fund Program. The Maasai
Association program coordinator in Kenya will travel to the
local trading market and purchase either a goat or cow. The
animal will be placed in a home – preferably a low-income
family’s home. The beneficiary family will take care
of the goat or cow free of charge.
are two parts to the goat program, dairy goats and billy goats.
The dairy goat is for the production of milk and baby goats.
The billy goats are for generating income, mainly, for school
the end of one year a goat is projected to have produced an
offspring. The first goat offspring will remain a property
of the Maasai Association. As with Maasai tradition, the caretaker
family will keep the second offspring.
Breeding of dairy goats
the Maasai community goats are not bred all year around. The
breeding usually takes place three months before the rainy
season (July or August). The gestation period is usually three
months long. Birth can result in goat twins, depending on
the breed. The program coordinator will make sure to buy goats
of great quality – preferably Siolo goats. This is a
drought tolerant breed of goats that produce more milk than
any other breed of goats in the region. Siolo goats are highly
trusted by the local people. The expansion of the goat program
will depend on the increased number of goats in the program.
More goats mean more milk and more students in school.
Maasai Association has a program coordinator in the project
area. The coordinator monitors the program as follows:
Make sure the breeding of goats and cows happens as planned
• Make sure the goats and cows are well taken care of
by the beneficiary family
• Make sure to vaccinate and brand goats and cows as needed
• Make sure school fees are paid as promised
of this program
goat program is highly sustainable for the reason that goats
are extremely valued and trusted by the Maasai people. The
output, milk and school fees, from the goat program are much
greater than the inputs such as breeding and vaccinations.
The villagers do not need to have collateral to qualify for
the goat and cows program. The program is all about trust
and commitment between the villagers and the Maasai Association.
most unique aspect about this program is that it is a community-based
initiative from beginning to end. The program respects and
compliments local traditions and systems for livestock keeping
distribution and management of cows is the same as with the
goats. The cost for a goat is $40 while the cost for a cow
here to give a Maasai family a life-changing cow or goat.