Goats change lives in Gambella

When Nyalual Ruon Teny lost her husband and son to the deadly conflict in South Sudan, she made a life changing decision.  

“I decided to leave my home and escape to another area. Then, I took my children and started walking to Ethiopia.” 40-year-old Nyalual is hesitating when thinking of the hardships. “We faced several problems on our journey.”

Today Nyalual Ruon Teny and her children are living in Kule refugee camp situated in the Gambella region. They crossed the border into Ethiopia, in June 2014, after several months of walking. 

Here they registered as refugees. But the difficulties challenging her family was not over. She explains; “ As soon as I became a refugee, I started facing many problems related to the refugee camp life.”

She testifies that she was feeling empty and struggling with the horrible living condition, she experienced in the camp.

In her home country her family was depending on livestock production and by selling local alcohol for their livelihood. But here she had nothing.

“I had lost everything. My family members, my livestock and I had no work or income."

“I had lost everything. My family members, my livestock and I had no work or income. At that time I was obliged to start collecting and selling fire wood, even though I knew this business was illegal and the gain was low.”

When Nyalul gave birth to her youngest son, she had the possibility of becoming part of DanChurchAid project providing fresh food to families with young children and lactating mothers. After being part of the fresh food project for a while, her family was chosen as beneficiaries of two goats, to start building resilience.

Nyalual´s tells us that her life changed, when she was selected as a goat rearing beneficiary.

“In March 2017 DanChurchAid provided me with two goats and access to a buck, as well as two days training on goat husbandry.” She adds; “Even though I had basic knowledge of goat rearing, I got valuable skill of improved goat production from the training”.

“I applied all my skills and devoted efforts to manage the goats I received from the organization.”

After just four months, one of the goats produced an offspring and then Nyalual started milking the goat. Again, the second goat gave birth in August 2017. This time twins.

Aso see: Give a Goat Gift Catalogue (in Danish)

An entrepreneurial woman

Finally things were looking brighter and Nyalual initiated an additional income by selling some of the goat milk.

“I started selling the extra milk setting the price at 40 birr per liter, so on an average day I make 20 birr. Generally I have obtained more than 2000 ETB from the sale of milk. “

She adds; “I spent the cash earned from selling the goat milk for different uses. I purchased clothes for my children and other daily house expenses. Moreover, I now have the possibility of saving the money.”

“So, I am very happy with the support I got. I now have diverse income sources and I am once again performing my former activity.”

Before returning to her work, she tells us: “It is possible to say that the project has healed my wound.”

Nyalual Ruon Teny is part of a humanitarian response in Gambella´s Kule refugee camp assisting women with young children. The project is run by DanChurchAid supported by BPRM.