News

Goat Hope Dairy Construction UPDATE

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Goat Hope Dairy Construction UPDATE

The construction of the dairy as you can see from the pictures is progressing –albeit, slightly slower than anticipated due to post election setbacks. We are making some progress now and working on a March 2018 completion. Stay tuned! Contrsuction of Dairy Farm Contrsuction of Dairy Farm Contrsuction of Dairy Farm Contrsuction of Dairy Farm Contrsuction of Dairy Farm Contrsuction of Dairy...

read more

Goat Hope Dairy Construction

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Community Owned Dairy | Comments Off on Goat Hope Dairy Construction

We are happy to share some more pictures of the construction of our Goat Hope Dairy, which is coming along beautifully. We have received amazing support from the community where members continue to volunteer their labor, resources e.g. providing pick-up trucks to transport construction material, and networks that have enabled us get discounted construction material. We are working hard to finish construction in the next few months. Goat Hope Dairy Goat Hope Dairy Goat Hope...

read more

One Step Closer to Community-Owned Goat Hope Dairy Farm

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Blog, Community Owned Dairy, Owned Dairy, Programs | Comments Off on One Step Closer to Community-Owned Goat Hope Dairy Farm

Through a generous donation from the Stanley and Marion Bergman Family Charitable Fund we have started the construction of the dairy at our farm in Kirinyaga County in Kenya. We are so excited to share the pictures of the progress we have made to date. We are now fundraising for the roof, water tank, and installation of electricity. Your generous tax deductible donation toward the goal of $3,000 to bring this project to completion is highly appreciated. Please follow this link (https://mra-africa.org/donate/) to support the Goat Hope Dairy Farm construction. If you prefer to donate by mail, please make your check payable to “Medical Relief Alliance” and please send it to the following mailing address: Medical Relief Alliance 244 5th Avenue Suite B293, New York, NY 10001 Need More Information? Email:...

read more

Community-Owned Dairy to be Launch in 2017

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Blog, Community Owned Dairy, Programs | Comments Off on Community-Owned Dairy to be Launch in 2017

Community-Owned Dairy to be Launch in 2017

After much success with our Social Venture Goat Farm we are proudly looking forward to launching our Community-Owned Dairy program. The purpose of the dairy will be to build a central milk collection point at the farm, for the families with goats to bring their milk and sell it to the farm. The farm will then sell the milk to already identified vendors for processing, packaging and distribution. Our Farmers make up almost 80% of the goat milk supply chain in Kirinyaga County, with each family producing an average of 2 liters per day. We need your support to successfully launch our Community-Owned Dairy. So far we have raised $25,000 to purchase a milk cooler and a pasteurizer. Your support towards the goal of $35,000 will enable us to: Construct the dairy plant – $20,000 Purchase a Refrigerated Truck- $10,000 Install a Generator- $5,000 Donations can be made by mailing checks addressed to: Medical Relief Alliance, Inc. 244 5th Avenue Suite B293, New York, NY 10001. All donations are tax deductible. Need More Information? Email:...

read more

A Visit from Our Newest Partners – Goat Hope Marquette

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Community Owned Dairy, Programs | Comments Off on A Visit from Our Newest Partners – Goat Hope Marquette

This August, MRA board members and our newest partners in the US, a Marquette University student organization known as Goat Hope at Marquette, visited our farm in Kirinyaga County, Kenya with the goal of assessing the impact we have made in the community through our Goat Hope Program which has been in operation in rural Kenya since 2002 as well as beginning the process of building a Community-Owned Dairy point at our Social Venture Goat Farm. Our visit started with a meeting at the farm where we met the women’s group leaders and listened as they gave their testimonies of how beneficial the goats have been to the families in the community. We also visited different family’s homes, who had received goats, and saw firsthand how the goats were helping the families. We heard from families that the consumption of the goat milk had really boosted their health and made them stronger. We heard that from the sales of milk, they had been able to buy required medication for the family, and others can afford to buy uniforms and books for school etc. We also heard that when the goat herds had increased, some families had sold the goats and were able to construct better housing for their families. The team visited with a community owned goat milk dairy in a neighboring county to learn from them how their dairy works. They explained and showed us the entire process from when the milk is collected from the families to the point it’s picked up by the processor. At this dairy, they told us they sell their milk to another goat farm outside of Nairobi, who use it to make goat yogurt. We also learned how yogurt is made. Our visit at the farm also involved refurbishing our Goat Hope offices and painting the current goat housing structure, giving it a new clean feel. The team also broke ground for a new housing structure that we will house the pregnant goats and their newborns. Another highlight of our trip was meeting with executives of a large supermarket chain in Nairobi to solidify our partnership to sell our goat milk/yogurt to them. This was a very successful meeting and are really looking forward to working with them to provide access to goat milk and value added products like yogurt and cheese. Our trip would not have been complete without meeting Dr. Mugo, one of the leading livestock veterinarian doctors in Kenya. We discussed ways we can improve the health and productivity of our goats to maximize milk production which will be crucial for our success. We forged a partnership that will continue for many years. We also organized a community event where over 130 goat hope community members and government officials attended and participated, as we shared our vision for the dairy with all the goat hope community. We shared with the families the exciting news that we had already received money to purchase a milk cooler and pasteurizer. It was a fun day filled with song and dance and even an impromptu children’s choir. Our trip ended on a high note. We came back to the US, energized to continue our fundraising efforts to successfully launch the Community-Owned Dairy in 2017.   We need your support to successfully launch our...

read more

Social Venture Goat Farm

Posted by on Sep 25, 2016 in Programs | Comments Off on Social Venture Goat Farm

Social Venture Goat Farm

Goat Hope, our signature program, gifts dairy goats to families living in rural communities in Kenya. The aim of the project is to improve beneficiary households’ nutrition through goat milk consumption while simultaneously increasing their income from sale of surplus goat milk. Because of Goat Hope’s achievements over the years, the demand for this programming has soared across rural Kenya. Consequently, requests quickly outstripped our organizational capacity to launch, implement, and support projects in a timely and sustainable manner. Through rigorous needs assessment and extensive strategic planning, MRA launched a Social Venture Goat Farm (SVGF) in 2012 to enhance our organizational capacity. Such enhancement has enabled us respond to the current and future demands of our Goat Hope program in a cost effective, self-sustaining, and impactful manner. SVGF has enabled MRA and the program beneficiaries function as high quality dairy goat breeders. We has provided over 150 goats in the region since officially opening the farm in 2012. We are now moving into the next phase of our programming, which is to build a Community-Owned Dairy that will leverage and create a ready market for SVGF and Goat Hope beneficiaries’ milk, and use generated funds to expand and enhance sustainability of Goat Hope across...

read more

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

Jumbo

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

NYU Capstone Team Goat Hope

Posted by on Jan 27, 2012 in AIDS Walk NY Campaign, Blog, Panel | 0 comments

This year Medical Relief Alliance partnered with New York University’s Robert Wagner Graduate School of Public Service’s Capstone project. The Capstone project is comprised of five students: Boykin Clarke, Caroline Keeley, Vedrana Misic,, Linda Rodriguez, and Valerie Varco. While all having a background in the non-profit sector their technical expertise varies in several different areas. The capstone team (Team Goat Hope) is focusing on creating a market analysis and business plan for MRA’s social venture goat farm in Embu, Kenya. In order to conduct the market analysis the team traveled from New York to Kenya this month. The team will be providing periodic update blog postings of their experience in...

read more