As pastoralists, the Maasai depend on animals for food, income, and status. Without livestock, families are forced to rely on the generosity of their neighbors, putting stress on the whole community. Acquiring the livestock can be costly and is not an option for poor families. However, livestock such as goats can assist in the fight against malnourishment in this poverty-stricken community of Alailelai.

Goat loan program
Goats in Alailelai village staying dry in the rain.

To address this need, Maasai Partners (MP) offered an annual goat program until increasingly strict regulations in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area made it too difficult to continue. We gave four goats each year to the poorest local families, who had no livestock. To ensure the growth of the herd, no goat was not allowed be killed or sold for three years. In the meantime, the family would received nourishment from the goat milk.

MP provided 24 families per year with the four goats, as well as medicine for the animals as needed. Though we are no longer giving out new goats, this program continues to benefit these communities, as herds have sustained larger herd numbers and growth from those we funded. Hundreds of people’s lives were directly improved through this initiative.

Young man herding cattle in Alailelai village
Young man herding cattle in Alailelai village