Goats for Girls was established in 2012 by 15 year old Jannine Koert.
Jannine went to Malawi for the first time in 2010. She had an amazing trip, and was able to build close friendships with girls living in the areas she visited. In 2012, Jannine was excited to travel back to Malawi to see her friends again. However, a big surprise was waiting for her when she arrived back in her friends' villages: many of the girls she met only 2 years before were married. They were only 14.
When Jannine returned to Canada, she realized she had to help these girls change the situation they were in. And so, Goats for Girls was born.
WHAT WE FIGHT FOR
Goats for Girls uses sustainable means to empower vulnerable girls with the resources they need to break from the cycle of poverty. We encourage girls to complete their secondary education, and use our contact with them as an opportunity to spread the light of God's Word. Goats for Girls seeks to create mature, knowledgeable, and loving mothers who instruct and care for their children and play an active role in improving their communities.
WHAT WE DO
"Give a man a fish and he has food for a day, but give a man a fishing pole and he has food for a lifetime."
This is the Goats for Girls approach. We give girls what they need to help themselves get ahead. Whether it be a goat, a word of encouragement, or a peer-support group, the things we give our girls allow them to stay in school without growing dependent on Goats for Girls for daily assistance.
GOAT PASS-ON PROGRAM
A Sustainable Solution
Goats for Girls starts the “Goat Effect” by giving two goats to an 8-year-old girl—let’s call her Rachel. Rachel passes on the first 2 kids she receives from her goats to another girl in her village, who does the same thing. Rachel may keep the rest of kids she gets from her goats, allowing her to grow a herd. Rachel can sell these goats at the market to cover her secondary school fees. Rachel’s goats give her financial independence and allow her to complete her education.
VILLAGE SAVINGS AND LOANS (VS&L)
The Power of Microfinance
Girls are placed in VS&L groups after receiving their goats. VS&L group members pool their savings to form a mini-bank, which gives them access to small-scale loans that can help them pay for unexpected costs or start up a small business. VS&L groups give girls a strong peer-support network and a competitive advantage in their village. Although VS&L is used by development organisations around the world, Goats for Girls is one of the first organisations to apply the model to groups of teenaged girls.
The Power of Community
Goats for Girls establishes parent committees to oversee the project in each village. These committees ensure that their local Goats for Girls members are playing by the rules. Members of the parent committees also have their own VS&L groups. Strong local support for the Goats for Girls project is key to its success. Parent committees make girls and their parents take responsibility for their actions, and reduce their reliance on the Canadian Goats for Girls Board.
Spreading the Bible and Reformed Literature
Along with her goats, every girl receives copy of the Bible in her own language. Goats for Girls also funds the translation of sound Reformed literature into the girls’ native languages. This literature is distributed to the girls, their pastors, and their communities. Goats for Girls tries to source material that explains key Reformed doctrines in a simple manner, as we recognize the importance of providing girls with the resources that they need to instruct their future children.