A goat for Santou

Niger, December 3, 2012

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Santou Hamidou is breeding the two goats she received in December. Selling the babies will allow her to buy food for her six children as the hunger crisis worsens over the summer. Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

Feeding six children has not been easy for Santou — especially as a hunger crisis took hold of Niger and the entire Sahel region of West Africa this year.

Like thousands of families, her 2011 harvest failed when rains did not come. And her husband left their barren land to look for work in the city, leaving her to forage for food.

Luckily, Santou received two goats from Mercy Corps last December, along with supplies and training to care for them. Their nutritious milk kept her family from going hungry throughout the summer, even without the grains they usually depend on.

The goats also represent a new source of income for Santou; she's been breeding them and can sell the kids to buy food in the local market.

She's proud that she can keep her family healthy in even the toughest circumstances, and is an example of strength and resourcefulness to other women in her village.

Give the gift of hope

You can help more women like Santou feed their families by giving a pair of goats this holiday season.

Shop Mercy Corps Gifts to choose from over 50 presents that truly change lives.