Posts made in February, 2012

Meet Joanne!

Posted by on Feb 10, 2012 in AIDS Walk NY Campaign, Blog, Panel | 0 comments

Joanne is one of the lovely MRA clients we met while we were in Kenya. She was gracious enough to invite us into her home and let us meet the new addition to her family, her new Toggenberg goat Faith, gifted to her by MRA! My team members and I were very impressed at the fact that he had built her goat pen by herself with sticks and twigs from her own yard. While in Kenya we were able to visit many goat farms, and see many pens, this one was by far one of the cleanest and most up-kept of them all. Joanne’s daughter passed away from HIV/AIDS a few years ago, and Joanne was left to take care of her young grandson Maxwell. It was such a pleasure to meet healthy, and bright fifth grader Maxwell who giggled when we asked him what he thought of the new four-legged addition to the family. Meeting Medical Relief Alliance’s clients was definitely the highlight of my trip. After conducting our desk research in preparation of our literature review and field visits it was so rewarding to meet all the women who are a part of the Goat Hope Project. They were all so cheerful and welcoming, and sang songs and danced for us. This is a clip of a video from their weekly meeting as they welcomed us to Kenya and to their community....

Read More


Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in AIDS Walk NY Campaign, Blog, Panel | 0 comments

Today we met Nelson, 87 year-old goat farmer. He very much reminded me of my grandfather. I think it was their similar age, profession and self-assurance. (My grandpa is 92 year-old, life-long farmer in Bosnian.) While this made me take an immediate liking to the man, it was his prowess as goat farmer that justified my reverence. Though we visited several accomplished goat farmers, none provided as many valuable day-to-day tips on the best goat rearing practices. Our first lesson was on the importance of varied diet. He stressed that if we wanted our goats to produce good quantity and quality milk, we must feed them diverse foliage. He credited his success at breeding exotic goats (ie German Alpines and British Toggenburgs) where many locals failed to this recipe. As a vegetarian I could sympathize with the herbivores need for a varied diet! We also learned that an added-value of feeding the goats this variety was the aromas that it added to the goat milk. When Nelson finished giving us an educational tour of his farm, we were treated to an amazing stew and cup of chai made with goat milk! Due to our hypersensitive Western stomachs, we were hesitant to try the unpasteurized goat milk. After one sip, we let go of our inhibitions.  After the wonderful meal , we proceeded to have a photo shoot.  While it is impossible to forget such a lovely family, we are glad to be able to introduce you to this family via our photos. Vedrana...

Read More

NYU Capstone Team Visits Kenya

Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in AIDS Walk NY Campaign, Blog, Panel | 0 comments

Jambo!! Team Goat Hope recently came back from an exciting trip to Kenya. We wanted to share our experience starting from the first few days were there and periodically share the stories that touched us the most. At first, some of us were jet lagged but soon all of our tiredness evaporated after being enthusiastically welcomed by some the beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries of MRA at their weekly meeting. We were greeted with energetic dances and traditional songs on our very first day! It was pretty incredible and heart-warming to meet the clients of MRA first-sand and see their shining faces and ecstatic energy; some of which had already received goats and others patiently awaiting ones. After introductions, we proceed to have our first interview with an extension officer of the Kenya Livestock Breeder Organization. Despite our extensive research on goat breeding for three months before coming to Embu, there was much valuable information we learned about goat breeding in Kenya. After completing a hard day’s work and collecting much valuable information, we went on a trip to visit some of the homes of the beneficiaries of the goat hope project. On our first stop, we met the first goat: Faith and her newly home that was built by her owner in June. After standing in awe of the craftsmanship of Faith’s owner, we continued on to visit several other nearby farms where we had the chance to see how other families had accepted and incorporated new four-legged members to their households. It was remarkable to learn that the recipients had built beautiful pens to house their goats with their own hands. What a fantastic and admirable job! We also had an opportunity to meet some of the families waiting to receive their goats. One such family was Papa Denis and his two sons. It was humbling to be so warmly welcomed by Papa Denis and family after working on a scorching summer day on his maize farm. The family with two children stands to significantly improve their dietary intake with her support of our “bahhh” milk making friends. The need in the community was extremely evident, and experiencing it first-hand caused the team much more excitement to work with MRA on serving the Embu community in their Goat Hope Project! Boykin, Vedrana, and...

Read More