Follow up project cattle breeding

In the villages the houses are spaced far apart, and there are chickens everywhere around.These chickens are not fed and have to scrape together their own food. There’s not much food available, so the amount of chickens always stays pretty much the same. At special occasions people sometimes eat one. The richer families also have one or more buffaloes or cows. The children bring them to the forest so they can eat. Traditionally these animals don’t get much attention. More knowledge, better care of the livestock and vaccination might increase the family’s income. We would like to help. In order to succeed the people have to change their attitude a little, which takes some time. That’s why a program of at least four years is needed in order to come to a lasting result. There would be four stages: create awareness that improvement is possible, vaccinate in a structured way, get illnesses under control, and help the poorest families to raise buffaloes and cows themselves.

Larger organizations are not interested in this kind of long and extensive programs because they choose for programs that lead to quick results in order to show their supporters and sponsors. However, we have been building up a special relationship with the population which enables us to take on this excellent challenge and run this kind of longer project.

The program will have to be carried out locally by someone who has good practical and communiation skills and who is respected by the people. It has to be someone who can motivate and inspire people to take action. He or she will have to look for support and start working with the people who are very motivated.

There’s a lot of work to be done. He or she will need some coaching/training/guidance in project management. Probably some of our contact persons in the capital city will be able to provide that kind of support.

A Belgian expat decided to help us to make this project succeed. He spontaneously gathered information, wrote a project proposal and put us in contact with a Lao veterinarian in the capital city. This expert will probably support the local expert. The Belgian expat, the veterinarian and Dong, our great partner in Vientiane, have been working hard the past week in order to develop a working method. In this process the local authorities are involved as well.

This project could have significant consequences, more than just the improvement of cattle farming. We hope that this project will show the people that they have an impact on their future and will motivate them to take initiatives themselves. Of course we treasure this kind of initiative and we will keep trying to support the people, where needed.