Life in rural Zambia is harsh.

In the communities where ChildFund works, many families battle in sweltering heat, with meagre subsistence farming as their only hope of making ends meet.

But, several years ago, a Gifts for Good donor chose to give the gift of a goat to a child in Zambia.

Twelve year old Justina and her family were some of the first to receive goats in the area, and today they’re still reaping the benefits of a gift given years ago.

How Donating a Goat Can Help Children

As orphaned children cared for by their elderly grandparents, Justina and her siblings might have been some of the most vulnerable members of their community in Zambia.  Instead, they are now some of the most prosperous.

“I’ve been surprised,” Justina’s grandmother Margaret told us. “I didn’t expect the situation to change the way it has so dramatically.

“Before I received the goats I felt so bad because I could not provide for my grandchildren.  I had no food to give them.  Life was not good.”

How Gifting a Goat Benefits a Family

When cholera spread across Zambia, killing dozens of people, Daliso volunteered her time as a nurse at her local hospital to fill the shortage of medical staff who had been deployed to emergency centres to fight the epidemic.

Bright, knowledgeable and eager to help, the 20-year-old stepped in to fill the gaps in various wards, from general surgery to neurology to ER.

“The country’s health institutions were in need of more health personnel following the outbreak of cholera, and I was motivated to volunteer,” Daliso says.

Despite the chaos in the hospitals, Daliso was in her element. She had wanted to become a nurse and be able to help and care for people in need all her life.

Her parents died when she was five years old and she was raised by her grandfather on a meagre income. It was unlikely she would finish high school, let alone be able to pursue higher education.

However, with ChildFund Zambia’s support Daliso finished her secondary studies and received a scholarship that helped her realise a better future.

“It was the happiest day of my life when I learnt I could study nursing,” Daliso says.

“It was a dream come true.”

The United Nations estimates that of the 600 million adolescent girls that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector where low pay, abuse and exploitation are common.