The Women’s Goat Project in Nepal 2015-2019

The Women’s Goat Project in Nepal 2015-2019

I connected with old friend and colleague Dipendra Joshi to learn about the outcomes of the Dhuskun Goat Project that we started years ago in Nepal while we were both with Namlo International. Dipendra Joshi of the Dedicated Society for Broad Development (DSCBD) The purpose of the project was to improve the incomes of members of the women since the status of Nepalese women—and rural women in particular, lags far behind that of men. Inequalities in access to healthcare, education, ownership of assets, economic and social mobility for women are still profound in Nepal and this project would enable them to take advantage of the growing local and regional market demand for goats – significant in Nepal – thereby ensuring a steady source of income for women. After launching literacy programs in Dhuskun and helping them to form a cooperative association, Namlo had invested in the construction of a community building – built mostly by the women – for the Dhuskun Women’s group, so it could serve as a business incubator for women entrepreneurs. For this livestock project, we invested $158,336 over three years, which covered the cost of goats, improved goat pens, dipping tanks, seeds for improved fodder, and training for the women. We also trained a woman as a para-veterinarian, with the hopes of having her employed on an ongoing basis by earning fees from the women participating in the project. The project was also based on the concept of “paying it forward”, and required the initial participants to donate at least one of the goat offspring to another needy woman in the community, so ultimately 144...