Livestock project to be continued

The start of a livestock project is a big step forward for the local committee. The project involves all levels of authorities: the villages, the district, the province and national authorities.

Most families in the Khong district live off their rice field and a little fishing. There is little to no chance on finding a job to generate some extra income. All families do have some livestock walking around their houses. The animals eat whatever they can find, they are not fed. Many animals die early. The local people lack the knowledge to take good care of the animals and they don't see the point of vaccinating them against illnesses, for example.

Feasibility study

One of the possibilities to have their primary needs met, is to increase their income by improving the management of their livestock. At the request of the board of the Foundation a team of researchers did a feasibility study in Decemer 2013. It showed that the people are more than willing to learn about taking better care of their livestock, how to prevent illnesses and vaccination. The study also pointed out a need for microcredit to enable the local people to expand their activities.
The researchers also looked into how the people can best be coached. The coaching will be done by volunteers (villagers) who were trained years ago. The knowledge of these volunteers needs some refreshing, though. The trainers of the volunteers need more training as well. They will be taught by district and provincial staff.

Budget

Durable results will only show after this project has been running for at least four or five years. This is the time needed for the local people to become aware of the fact that better care of their livestock will have a positive impact on their income. This process requires a fundamental behavioural change and therefore it takes time. Training and setting up a vaccination system will be necessary. The direct costs for this project are estimated at € 25.000,- for the first five years.

The board asked the research team (two Laotian and a Belgian advisor) to write a roadmap.
You can read more about it in our newsletter from the 6th of July 2013 and on the webpage about our projects.