This gift in action
In the Gitovu of northern Rwanda, Oxfam has introduced a community livestock exchange scheme, with very positive results. In fact, the sheep alone have changed people's lives – even people that don't own any yet.
Isaie Semajer for example, lets five of his neighbours' ewes graze on his land. And not only does it do them a favour, but because of the fertiliser they produce Isaie has been able to increase his crop yield: "Where I used to produce 50 kilos I now produce 150 kilos, which provide enough food to eat and extra to sell to buy clothes for my children."
And under the scheme, Isaie is in line to get a sheep of his own when the ewes next give birth.
Anastase Habumukiza with his wife Angelina, have been benefiting from the scheme for a while, as Anastase explains: "I was given one sheep and then it had lambs, now I have 11. The sheep help me cultivate my land. It is more fertile than ever before. I now have money to pay for my health care and look after my family."
"These sheep have changed my life. Now we can eat whatever we want. We can eat the vegetables and seeds we grow or I can use the money I make from selling my crops to buy things at the market."