Paul Jeffrey

Raising animals and hope in a Nepalese village

Less than a year in, Hari Pariyar’s (pictured on right) new goat operation is proving fruitful. One female has had three kids, an excellent start for his enterprise.

Opportunities like this are rare for the residents of Katunje Village in Nepal, where Pariyar lives. Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries, and Katunje is one of its poorest regions, wracked with unemployment and low economic opportunity.

When a powerful earthquake struck Nepal in April 2015, conditions became even worse for residents of Katunje. In a place where shelter was already scarce, the earthquake partially or totally destroyed 90 percent of houses in the municipality. Twenty-seven lives were lost in the area. Residents struggled with day-to-day living and trauma from the disaster, on top of their already desperate economic circumstances.

In 2018, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance partnered with Together for Nepal to form the Katunje Post-Disaster Recovery Nepal Project (KPRN) to help the people of the region not only cope with the earthquake’s aftermath, but to offer skills and opportunities that would help make them more resilient for the future.

Small animals with big potential

In one KPRN program, 280 female goats were distributed to locals like Pariyar, to help provide a new source of income and livelihood families could depend on. Goats were chosen because they are relatively inexpensive to raise, very productive for their size and are highly adaptable, especially in mountainous areas. Before receiving the goats, recipient households were trained in goat-raising. Lessons included grazing and feeding methods and learning how to treat common goat diseases at home. Participants even learned how to build sheds to house their goats.

For Pariyar, a goat was the perfect fit. He recently shared, “The project made my life blessed.” While he owns a small piece of land, it’s barely big enough to grow food for his family. Several years ago, he lost both of his feet to cancer and in 2015, the family’s home was completely destroyed in the earthquake. The goat program provided an additional way for the family to earn a living. As Pariyar raises more goats, he’ll be able to trade and sell them for a sustainable source of income. Pariyar is overjoyed that his goat has already been so productive.

A gift of livestock through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog joins with others to support programs that provide food and income relief. These gifts are helping to break the cycle of poverty in areas like Katunje and provide new opportunities for residents like Pariyar and his family.