In Africa, millions of people survive by their livestock. Yet veterinary care is often insufficiently available. When farmers lose their herds to disease, drought or conflict, they lose everything: their pride, their culture, their savings and their livelihood. By helping to care for livestock and improve production, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium supports local populations in their struggle against hunger and poverty.

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Three rabbits make a big difference

In eastern Congo, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium distributes rabbits to vulnerable families. Several rabbits make it possible for these households to overcome poverty. In fact, the rabbits are a source of food and income. Thanks to the sale of rabbits, families can buy other food, essential for a balanced diet, and can pay medical and school expenses.

In the villages bordering Butembo, in North-Kivu in eastern Congo, clay huts with straw roofs shelter families with more than six children. These families have neither water nor electricity. The children sleep on the ground on some leaves of a banana tree, often with empty stomachs.

In this region, the children eat only one meal per day, consisting of a banana or a sweet potato, and in the best of cases, a little foufou (mashed cassava). They seldom eat meat. Because of this unvaried and unbalanced diet, the children are seriously malnourished. But in spite of the hunger that torments them, they must work hard: carrying water or firewood, working in the field, gathering bananas... Weakened, their immune defenses are failing and the children often become ill. The slightest disease can be fatal because their parents cannot afford to pay medical expenses.

Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium hopes that these children can eat meat from time to time and that the families have enough money to pay for additional food, rich in proteins and vitamins, and also to pay for healthcare. How does the organization want to make it happen? With rabbits!

Source of food and income

Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium asks local committees to select, in their village, the most vulnerable families: young mothers, widows, families without income...

Our veterinarians will give three rabbits to each one of these families: two females and a male. When the females have their first litter, the family must give in return five young rabbits that our veterinarians will then give to two other families in need. Each female has about three litters per year with (more or less) eight young rabbits each time.

The family will have a regular source of food and income. The malnourished children will be able to eat meat from time to time. The family will also be able to sell rabbits, so that thanks to this income, the children can have a more varied diet by eating fruit and vegetables, and can also go to school. And when they become ill, their parents will be able to pay for their healthcare. Perhaps the family will even be able to rent a small plot of land on which it will cultivate its fruit and vegetables for its own consumption and for sale. Isn't this fantastic? And all that, thanks to three rabbits...

Give rabbits

With € 40, you give three rabbits, two hutches, two feeding troughs, and veterinary first aid to a vulnerable family in the DR Congo. By making this gift, it is not one, but several families in need that you support. Each family will give in return five young rabbits that will be redistributed to other families.

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