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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In 2013, your support helped people climb out of poverty

“We will build a better future for everyone by giving people the freedom and the power to build a better future for themselves and their families.”  These wise words came from Melinda Gates, wife of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.  It is likewise a slogan adopted by Vétérinaires Sans Frontières.  With your support and commitment, thousands of livestock keepers were able to improve their standard of living in 2013.  Here is a brief glimpse into some of the achievements you made possible!

Rwanda: small animals with a big impact

594 families from the districts of Huye and Nyanza were able to get a new lease on life and to climb out of extreme poverty. You helped us to distribute 847 goats and 244 rabbits to these families.

alice

“We now have two meals per day whereas before we had one meal and no hope for the next day... I was able to sell quite a few rabbits. Thanks to the income from this my son attends school and I was able to sign us up for a health plan.” 

Marie Alice Murekeyisoni received three rabbits and two goats from Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium.  Today, she is the proud owner of 17 rabbits, three goats and even two pigs!

DR Congo: rabbits, goats and sheep

In Eastern Congo, more than a thousand children, women and men have been able to climb out of extreme poverty thanks to your support: 2688 rabbits and 533 goats and sheep - but also much-needed shelters, water and food troughs – were distributed to them.  You have changed their lives!  Our local partners monitor all these families for one year, allowing them the time to master small livestock farming.  Following this period, the families continue their livestock activities entirely on their own.

Poultry health continues to be a priority in North Kivu.  In 2013, our community animal health workers vaccinated no fewer than 40,166 chickens against Newcastle disease!  

Niger: supplies for 107 community animal health workers2014-Niger-dierenverzorgers

Thanks to your support, 90,000 Nigerien farming families within the departments of Doutchi, Guidan Roumdji and Mayahi now have access to three practices providing veterinary services. Your generosity has enabled 107 community animal health workers to receive the necessary supplies and training to start working in their communities. Each one received a veterinary kit, an automatic syringe for vaccinations, as well as a portable refrigerator to preserve medicine. You also provided them with medical implements to care for sick and wounded animals. Each community animal health worker also received a kit including educational drawings. As a result, the farmers (who are often illiterate) can learn how to take good care of their animals.  

Offer a Nigerien training in animal health for only 250 Euros.

Last year, you also assisted Nigerien families who had lost all of their animals during terrible floods. In the village of Tizegorou we distributed 200 goats. Go to the bottom of the page to see the photos made at the distribution. 

Burkina Faso: emergency aid to refugees

Your support has allowed our community animal health workers to vaccinate 47,665 animals in refugee camps in northern Burkina Faso where, since 2012, many Malian farmers have been forced to find refuge with their herds. 15,147 cows, 9,624 sheep and 22,894 goats have also been vaccinated against often-fatal diseases. As a result, more than 1500 families were able to protect their principal source of food and income.     

Because the water and pasture near the camps were not sufficient to nourish all the animals, we also distributed livestock feed. Last year, your generosity helped 1000 Malian refugee families and 250 Burkina Faso families living near the camps. Each family received a maximum of four 50 kg bags of livestock feed, depending on the number of animals it owned. As a result, their animals had enough to eat last year and were able to continue to produce a sufficient amount of milk.

Kenya: better resilience to climate change

In 2013, you assisted 356 men and women to rebuild a herd. These farmers had lost all their animals in catastrophic floods during the rainy season. They received a total of 1780 goats and sheep; two young males and three young females per family. 

Thanks to your donations, we were also able to distribute seeds (corn, sorghum, tomatoes, etc.) to 1200 families whose crops had been destroyed by the floods. Additionally, just between August and November, our Kenyan community animal health workers were able to treat and deworm 188,400 animals. As a result, 1555 families are now guaranteed a healthy herd.

bees

We also use other methods to try to improve difficult life conditions for farmers; for example, by supporting production of honey. 

In 2013, you provided 60 hives to 11 farmers associations, thereby giving 369 of them the possibility to diversify their incomes and their diet. They are now less vulnerable if their livestock were to die because of a severe drought or floods. These farmers from Lokapel stand proudly by their hives.

South Sudan: vaccination and treatment 

Last year, thanks to your support, our community animal health workers treated 176,565 animals against fatal diseases such as pasteurellosis, anthrax and blackleg. In South Sudan, where a large number of people depend on livestock for their livelihood, good veterinary care is crucial. We therefore work with farmers to raise awareness about diseases which could potentially wipe out their herds, and encourage them to vaccinate their animals.  

Our partners have treated 2095 cows contaminated by East Coast Fever, a disease which is transmitted by ticks. The community animal health workers also provided preventive care to 4510 animals with an anti-parasitic spray. This spray eliminates ticks before they can attack the livestock. If the animals are healthy, the people are healthy too!

You are helping us to move mountains

These incredible results were only made possible through the commitment of our many donors and supporters like you. We offer our sincerest gratitude for your generosity! Your support has been – and continues to be – crucial to our mission. In 2014, we want to continue to change the lives of farmers.

Together, we must continue to fight for a better world because too many farming families still live in a state of alarming poverty. Parents have trouble even making ends meet and their children suffer from severe malnutrition. Our veterinarians want to give these people the opportunity to live with dignity as well. Moreover, this year, we will expand our activities to Burundi! Like we do in neighboring countries, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we hope to distribute small livestock to the most vulnerable. Do you want to help them? Make a donation!