In order to generate income and provide sustainable financial support to the elderly project, the Stall Fed Goat scheme was started in 2012.
Initially, VRCT funded “Pass on the gift” goats for the elderly participants of the welfare centres. Many of the rural elderly were able to accept a goat from the scheme. Donors bought goats – all female – complete with insurance and veterinary support. The owners breed the goats and the first kid is given to another poor elderly person. After that, the goats can be kept or sold.
This scheme was met with mixed success. At some centres the scheme is still going after three or more generations of goats, with one elderly woman earning enough money to save for the funeral she has always wanted, but was never able to afford. At other centres, the goats went AWOL – missing, presumed consumed. As a result, no further goats are being bought for individuals from these villages and the donation money is being recovered.
RUHSA have subsequently developed an intensive goat-rearing enterprise, run by a self-help group (SHG) of women, who instead of paying back the loan to RUHSA, contribute to the running of the elderly schemes. This means the project is now a supportive venture rather than an income generation scheme for individuals. There are currently 17 goats, 5 males and 12 females. Income is generated through selling goats and manure.