Story by John Allen | External Relations Specialist | Heifer South Africa
Photos by Elizabeth Lefoka | Limpopo Province Program Manager | Heifer South Africa
Heifer South Africa's Khongode Project is located in Musunda village of Limpopo Provincehome to about 500 families. Only 1 percent of the population is formally employed and about 90 percent live in poverty.
The area has little access to basic services. Roads are in poor condition and homes lack electricity. Many residents collect water from local rivers and streams.
The project began in 2006 when 20 families were given three goats by the local headman. Then, in 2008 the group approached Heifer South Africa for assistance. Heifer learned the area had high agricultural potential and that families were committed to their goals.
Heifer provided project members with vegetables, training and goats in partnership with the Anglo American Chairman's Fund. Each of the original families, plus five new families, received five does.
The project became a success. In March 2012, the Department of Agriculture donated an additional 40 goats (three male goats and 37 female goats). Other stakeholders helped present several trainings. The local Department of Health provided training on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Additionally, trainings on animal disease prevention and treatment, as well as castration, were provided by the local Department of Agriculture officers. Heifer also worked with stakeholders to ensure farmers could sell their goats.
The local Department of Economic Development and the Department of Agriculture are now working closely with the group. In late 2012, Khongode and a nearby community sold 50 goats to a buyer in Botswanaa deal organized by the Department of Agriculture.
On June 14, 2012, the project held its first Passing on the Gift® (POG) ceremony. Four new members received five female goats each and another member received three goats. At the project's second POG, 22 goats were passed on to families in need.
Limpopo Province Program Manager Elizabeth Lefoka said, "To me, the Khongode Project is one of the most successful projects in Limpopo. What I like about the project is that all members are committed; the leadership of the project works very hard to ensure that they achieve project objectives."
The project members have become self-sustaining and ready to manage their activitiesHeifer's full assistance is no longer needed. However, Heifer South Africa will continue communications and give advice as it exits the project over the next few months.
"When the time comes for Heifer to exit the project I don't have any doubts the project will remain sustainable," Lefoka said.