Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Goat Giving

We are so thankful for more than 100 families who received dairy goats in 2008, funded by the generosity of our friends and supporters in America.  Once again this year we are offering the Give-a-Goat opportunity.  For $130 we can purchase and transport a specially bred dairy goat here in Uganda, train a family in its care, give them a few tools for constructing a simple shed, and then allow them to take the goat home.  Thanks to this project, many children who otherwise would have starved, can thrive—drinking the calories and protein they need.  Most of our recipients are babies whose mothers have died, or whose mothers are infected with HIV/AIDS and therefore need to wean them from potentially infectious breast milk. 

Your donation is a gift to a family which is about as close as one can come in 2008 to that of the homeless and wandering parents of the infant Jesus, living on a slim margin of survival.  The first 100 donors will receive a hand-made African Christmas tree ornament which symbolizes the real gift of the goat.  Please put it on your tree to remind you that Christmas is all about incarnation:  love in bodily form, God becoming human and needing milk, your generosity translating into a real live animal and its milk.

The mechanics:

1.     Use the "Give-a-Goat" button on our sidebar (or at to donate by credit card.  This is the simplest and fastest method, and allows our colleague Ginny Barnette in the Sending Center to quickly confirm your donation and address and mail you the ornament.  Here is the direct link :

2.     Send a check to WHM Donation Processing Center, P.O. Box 1244, Albert Lea, MN 56007-1244, writing "Goat Fund  12375" on the memo line.  Since the processing and return of the information to Ginny could take a couple of weeks, you may want to email her ( in order to be sure you receive the ornament before Christmas. 

3.     If you would like the ornament mailed to a DIFFERENT address than the one on your credit card or check, you must also communicate this to Ginny.  A card will be included with each goat describing the program.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

To Whom Does it Belong?

To whom? To whom? To whom does it belong?

Hands on hips, bobbing up and down, Heidi and I chant in unison with the other thirty volunteers who showed up for Lamech’s seminar on ownership and sustainability. We were utterly clueless as to why we are chanting, and why we are chanting this particular phrase, but no one else was having similar qualms. Apparently, such “energizers” are common in Ugandan seminars. It’s pretty impressive when you think about it, because it definitely would take more than two minutes of chanting to keep me refreshed and focused through a 7-hour seminar.

Pauline, Lamech and Baguma Charles, entirely on their own initiative, organized this training for the BundiNutrition volunteers and a few other key farmers in the community. Many of the attendees were members of the four BBB production teams, others were volunteers from the Busunga/Bursaru outpatient nutrition programs, or buck keepers from around the district. They listened attentively and participated actively. The morning was spent brainstorming what makes an effective team, and ways for the production teams to be self sustaining if BundiNutrition is not around some day. The afternoon discussion centered around brainstorming micro-enterprise ideas with a focus on local chicken projects.

Heidi and I agreed that one of the best things about this seminar was that (other than organizing the lunch) we had nothing to do with the planning or execution. Often there can be a disconnect when we Bazungu come in with our ways of thinking. In this case, Ugandans with a wealth of knowledge and creative ideas were effectively encouraging and educating each other.

When we’re discouraged with the state of the district, it’s a privilege to glimpse how God is truly working in the hearts and minds of community members.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Unsung Heroines of Motherless Babies

Dear Readers, 
These two motherless babies are cared for by some of the unsung heroines of Bundibugyo, Grandmothers!  These two babies born were born one day apart and have just turned 6 months old left to right: Ategheka Francini (the Italian Mubwisi) and Batigwa Bususanna. Their mothers died after giving birth to them and their grandmothers came to the rescue. Both grandmothers have nursed their babies in the hope of producing milk after years without having children. One of these has been more successful at providing breast milk than the other. Grandmother Francini came to us the very day his mother died and received milk and Dr Jennifer's attention. Grandmother Bususanna came days later and received the same kindness and care. 

I wanted you to see the faces of these heroines who carry on their backs baby, milk and beans to and from their homes deep in the village to receive medical attention and support for their grandchildren, sometimes great grandchildren.  

Once when we were waiting for the motherless caretakers to receive medical attention, I asked the volunteer staff, "Which baby would you choose to be if you could be any one of these babies and be cared for by one of these grandmothers?" We all had different answers because we each saw such wonderful nurture and love displayed by several of these amazing heroines. I thank God for the selflessness of these women who lay down their lives to care for these motherless babies.  thank you too for the generosity of your gifts that enable us to give milk, beans and vitamins to many children in the Nutrition Program!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Batende Evaline's Photo

oops! sorry folks i am new at this blogging thing. so let me try and attach Batende and Kazini's photo with their goat they received in April!  pat abbottfile:///Users/pat/Pictures/iPhoto%20Library/Modified/2008/Roll%20184/IMG_0360.JPG

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Timely Rescue

A Timely Rescue
I (pat Abbott) was in the ART (Anti Retroviral Drug where people living
with HIV receive their life extending drugs and education about HIV) clinic
last week and met a young 25 year old, veteran Kwejuna Mom (HIV+) named
Batende Evaline. Evaline was admitted in the Hospital in a very bad
condition. She was not eating or drinking because everything she put in came
back up. I was devastated about her condition wondering how she slipped so
quickly into such a state without our notice. (I had personally handed her a
goat in the April distribution. See photo) I sought out a counselor and
advocated for her to get the ARV Drug Counseling so that the next week she
could be initiated on the drugs in the clinic that will extend her life. I
prayed for her many times over the weekend and returned on Monday to see how
she was doing. She was NOT there, she had gone home. I was sure this meant
she had gone home to die.

The next day I was in Evaline¹s home area of Bunyangule for an HIV/AIDS
Education Out Reach and asked the PEER Educators (HIV+) friends if they
could take me to see her. I was nervous expecting the worst. We crossed two
rivers on our 20 minute journey to Evaline's father¹s home where she lives.
We were welcomed and given seats. I spotted her among the 7 or 8 adults and
her one year old Kazini Robert toddling around. She came and sat down with
us. She smiled and she was so shocked to see me. She told me that her
stomach was feeling much better and she was drinking goat's milk and juice
with no problems. She was so delighted that we had come to see her, she said
it three times. I prayed for her and her family before we left reminding
them of God¹s love for the poor and weak. So yesterday in the ART clinic (a
week later) she came with her father and they were given more teaching on
the use of the the Anti-Retroviral Drugs that will prolong her life and sent
home to recover and gain what she has lost in recent months!
Thanks be to GOD! We get a lot of encouragement mileage out of these rescue
stories! Thank you too for being part of Batende Evaline and Kazini Robert's
lives through your generous gifts and prayers!


Pat Abbott
P.O. Box 1142
Bundibugyo, Uganda
East Africa

------ End of Forwarded Message

Friday, October 24, 2008

Through the river and through the woods

…to buck stations in Busunga we went!

Heidi and I discussed and agreed that “Over the River” sounds better. The bridge over the Lamia River has been gone for quite some time. Lamech walks his motorcycle across, but I have to dismount and wade in the water. There are dozens of helpful young men standing around shouting “Madame! Madame, let me carry you!” How exactly are they proposing to manage that? Throw me over their shoulder? No thanks! All the other women are carrying bundles of firewood on their heads and backs and they seem to manage well. Besides, the water is only half a meter deep, so my title remains “through the river…”

But I digress.

Lamech and I spent the afternoon visiting some buck keepers in Busunga. These volunteers house high-grade male goats and keep a record of the local goats that are brought to mate. The buck keepers also follow up on all of the offspring so Lamech can tag them the next time he visits. All of the baby goats receive Lamech’s veterinary treatment when needed, and so we were often flagged down to de-worm a “nearby” goat. “It’s not far far, just there,” says the buck keeper, gesticulating to a hut in the distance.

It was so encouraging to see Lamech’s dedication in visiting not only the 300+ female goats the Matiti project distributes, but also all of the offspring of local goats and the high-grade bucks. Four times a year, every goat is de-wormed and receives the proper vaccinations. Anytime a goat is sick, the recipient goes to their local buck-keeper to call Lamech for assistance. Looking at the buck keeper’s records, it’s easy to see how the numbers of higher-grade dairy goats are increases.

We visited one woman who was the recipient of a Matiti goat. Smiling toothlessly, she showed us her personal records of how much milk her goat was producing daily, and her smiling child, the glad recipient of said milk.

I unfortunately forgot to bring my camera along, but I shan’t make that mistake next time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Meet Sarah.  She has been with us in Bundibugyo for over a year now, teaching our  missionary children at Rwenzori Mission School.  As her teaching load is lightening, she is taking on many BundiNutrition activities.  She’ll be overseeing procurement of food for feeding centers, overseeing activities of the extension officers in charge of the farms, BBB production teams, goat programs, and feeding programs,  keeping financial accounts and reporting to the home office.  As I (Karen) have been handing my responsibilities over to Sarah this past month, it’s been great to see how capable and willing she is.


Next week, I will be leaving Bundibugyo and will be moving with my family to Southern Sudan ( to lead a new team.  Our hope is to serve the community there as they rebuild after decades of war and hold out the hope of Christ.


I go knowing that BundiNutrition remains in good hands with Sarah, Jennifer, Heidi, Pat, Scott , Lamech and Pauline.


My great thanks to all of you for your faithful prayers and giving that are the backbone of this ministry.  May God bless you.


2 Corinthians 9:9-11

" 'They share freely and give generously to the poor. 

Their good deeds will be remembered forever.'

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat.  In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.  Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous.  

And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Goats: Round 3

Last week Lamech brought another shipment of dairy goats into the district. This is the 3 shipment of goats from the Christmas order.

It was another long day, beginning early morning and arriving at 11:30 pm. A problem with the windshield wipers of all things, delayed them 3 hours on the road, as it rained heavily and welding was required.
These were the goats that had been quarantined. This may be the last of the females that we need to have shipped into the district, as the breeding within our district is beginning to gain momentum.
We have bought a few goats already that have been breed locally. This eases the burden of transport and also adds local blood of goats from this district, making them even heartier.

There is no ceremony this time, but some women are coming each day to pick their goats. Thank you to all those who gave goats!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stinky Boys

Yesterday 16 male goats left our farm. I am so HAPPY.

They are key in making milk accessible to the masses. Not being monogamous, they can serve hundreds of local female goats in their areas, creating tons of dairy hybrid females, in turn providing lots of milk for children. They were an incredible gift from Joy Children’s Centre.

Selfishly, I’m glad they have moved on because, as any 8 year old girl can tell you: Boys are stinky! One male goat is strong, but with 16 next door, the pungent smell wafting in my windows was something else!

It was a sight to see them go on foot, motorcycle and truck.

Off Layers


We have enjoyed eggs from our 39 chickens for almost a year. Each chicken lays roughly an egg a day. Basaija has feed the birds and collected the eggs. Pauline would see that they were delivered to the health center for HIV+ moms to feed their children. When patients are in the hospital, there are no meal plans. Parents have to bring their food and find a way to cook it. This is always a challenge. Many of the eggs these chicken have produced have nourished young ones with nutritional deficits during their stay in the hospital.

Since their production has dropped, we have sold them off – a good chicken dinner for some. We are grateful for their service.

Our 200 new chicks are doing well and have successfully passed the age when we lost 75% of the last group! By October they should start laying eggs.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Goat Gifting

Women, children and men whose lives have been affected through loss and disease gathered together last week for the latest goat distribution. I shared from Scripture about how Jesus is our Good Shepherd, with us in hard times, caring for us gently, and laying His life down for us. I encouraged them to be reminded of their Good Shepherd whenever they are caring for their goats that God cares for them more completely then we can.
Scott Myhre, WHM Team Leader, used the illustration of animal sacrifice, which people practice regularly here. He shared how Christ is the best and final sacrifice for our sins, doing for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. He also alluded to the sacrifice of the donors who gave generously to provide the dairy goats, which they were unable to provide for themselves.

41 females were distributed, including some of the females that have been passed on (offspring of previously distributed goats).

4 males were also place in the villages to continue the breeding in the communities.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Goat Delivery

Tues night 51 goats arrrived. With the help of our truck's headlights to illuminate the area, 35 females were handed out of the huge truck and carried to their pens. Most of the 16 males were quite large, so after they were lowered from the truck, a firm grabbing of the horns and directing to their pen was needed.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cooking it up

Scott Ickes has been observing how the caretakers prepare the food they receive from BBB for their children. Some cook it with bananas and tomatoes over the fire. Others boil it into as a porridge.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Today Lamech is in Masaka preparing the trucks by creating multiple goat pens in the truck bed.
When he was getting the moving permits that allow livestock to travel within Uganda, he found that 18 of the goats he’d bought were within a sub-county with a recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD). Despite the fact that Lamech had previously vaccinated them against FMD they are unable to be moved at this time.
The 35 female goats from other sub-counties as well as the 16 donated males will still start their long journey to Bundibugyo tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

BBB Production

BBB Project produces two products, a locally made soybean powder and a peanut butter paste with dried moringa leaves. 4 production teams use the Omega VI grinders they were given by World Harvest Mission. Stephanie Jilcott trained them in their use. Currently, the teams roast the peanuts and then grind them with the dried moringa in the grinder turning it into a paste. The soybeans are roasted. Then they are prepounded by hand before they pass through the grinder which turns them into a fine powder.
Basiime Godfry, on behalf of BundiNutrition, buys the products from the production teams and brings them to the health centers for weekly distribution to moderately malnourished children.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

BBB Research

Meet Scott Ickes. He’s back in Bundibugyo for a few weeks working on his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Nutrition. He’s been studying the BBB Project and how the locally made Ready-to-Use-Supplementary-Food (RUSF) that is being produced here is affecting the community. He’s been interviewing Health Center Staff who distribute the Peanut Butter Paste and Soybean flour. The production teams who create the product and the moms who feed it to their children are also speaking up on how it is being used.

Scott is finishing up 78 dietary recalls, which ask mothers “What did your child eat yesterday?” This helps to answer the question of how the products we give to the moderately malnourished children fit into their total diet. Random home visits to observe how the food is prepared is also part of the study. He’s had the help of Biihwa, Annette, Basiime, Baguma Charles and Katie Morris with the interviews and back translations.

Tomorrow he will take samples of the products to Makerere University and have them tested for their nutrient content.

He has gathered quite a bit of data. After being able to analyze it, he hopes to share his insights with BundiNutrition and the production teams as to how we might make the most of the project.

BBB: Byokuliya Bisemeye mu Bantu, Good Food for People

Monday, June 30, 2008

15 Bucks

The global rise in food costs are effecting us all. The food we buy for our patients continue to be more expensive. Also, the feed for chickens and goats rises. Joy Children’s Centre in Masaka, Uganda is a large farm of nearly 400 goats. They will need to scale back to 150 to stay afloat. There ministry has helped train many community members in Masaka, financed orphan’s school fees year after year and has been instrumental in shaping goat programs like ours across Uganda. In their effort to keep their farm at a managable level, they have offered to donate 15 male goats to our project in Bundibugyo. They are high grade males, just the thing our program could use to make selective breeding of an African dairy breed more attainable.

Lamech will upgrade the truck to the largest size and the males will come with the 54 females on July 8th. The caretakers of the female goats will receive them on July 10th. The bucks will remain on our farm. Then Lamech will identify villages with little access to buck services. Next, he’ll find the caretakers of female dairy goats who have proven their mettle over the years in those places. Lamech will train them in buck keeping for two days. We can provide some materials for the buck pen, like roofing and nails, while they provide the local materials. When their shelters are ready, we can distribute the males hopefully by the end of July.

We are grateful to David & Jacqui Dowdy for their continued input into the Matiti Project and for this generous donation!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Field Exchange: The Emergency Nutrition Network Magazine

Stephanie Jilcott published an article on some of the BundiNutrition agricultural projects. Catch it here:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Demonstration Garden

Pauline has worked diligently on designing the demonstration garden. The last phase is the orchard section where she will plant guavas and citrus trees. Trees for goat fodder line the pathways and are strategically placed throughout. They were chosen for their deep roots and nutrition value for goats. Jackson uses cutting daily of legumes and bulk plants.

Human food is also well placed. Cooking bananas-a staple food in Bundibugyo- as well as beans are grown throughout. Pauline brings community groups through the garden to show them how to make the best of their small plots, increasing yields through natural fertilizers and nitrogen fixing trees.
The beans and bananas are being sold and revenue is put back into the maintance of the garden. As the garden matures, it moves toward financial self-sustainablity.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The chicks are growing. Their yellow fuzz is being replaced by white feathers and they are in constant motion. Cozying up to the warm charcoal pot is still a favorite activity.

The current chick count is 206. I was told that when we ordered 200, you get 8 free because they expect some losses. Basija is doing a great job keeping the chicks healthy and happy. Pauline has given 2 rounds of vaccinations.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Preemies and their struggles

Today is mixed with joy and sadness. Premature babies have a difficult road no matter where they are born. In Bundibugyo, there is no NICU to aid them in their struggle. Two nights ago, my neighbor gave birth to a baby boy who was just over 2 lbs. She has lost other children and great hopes were placed on his survival. Despite the special isolation room in the peadiatric ward and formula to feed him since his jaws weren't strong enough to suck, he died in the night. The grave behind their house is small and fresh. We sit and mourn with them.

As I was dropping of more formula to the Health Center today, Jennifer directed me to another child. He was also born premature, of similar weight. He was in the hospital for a while and health staff had to revive him frequently as his life kept slipping away. He was supplemented with formula while he gained strength to suck. He had been released and is now back at the hospital because he is sick, but he is not starving. He looks great and we rejoice with that family.

We must rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn, and trust God's faithful hand in the midst of it all.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Goat Registration

In an effort to monitor and evaluate the progress of goat breeding, our outpost in Bundibugyo will start registering our dairy goats. This will allow us to have a better idea of what goats are out there, breeding with which others, and what the survival rate is. The database that the David Dowdy created is starting to be the central database for all of Uganda dairy goat keepers. It allows us to track milk production and keep up with vaccinations. We'll also gain information on which goats are producing the most milk and can be selected for mating.

This has to start with data gathering. This week was a practicum in recording information in local herd books. With literacy being low it is a struggle, but people are really trying. Most buck stations will keep records of the dairy goats in their area and record matings, deaths and births. Lamech will enter all the data from the herd books in his computer so we'll be able to keep up with what is happening in the field.

As we've moved around, the Dowdys have been encouraged by how well the goats are looking and being kept. That is a great encouragement to us all.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Visiting Buck Keepers

David and Jacqui Dowdy (my mentors in goat care) are in Bundibugyo this week with their new interns, John & Alison Law. Yesterday, Lamech brought us around to visit various buck keepers. We visited 3 sites to see the animals and get an idea of the way they keep records (a tricky thing where the literacy rate is low). It was great to see the families and the animals they are caring for.
I was especially pleased at the last site where two women who lived nearby one another build their sheds together. One female goat was nursing a 10 day old kid, and supplying milk to the family. The other female goat was tremendous and is probably carrying two kids in her womb. They were surrounded by an array of various nutritious feeds within their reach. Because these women are doing such a great job, they were also given the responsibility of keeping the buck for their community.
At each place suggestions for improvement were given along with encouragement in their work.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chick arrival

Day-old chicks arrived at the newly expanded chicken coop! 200 were snuggled into 2 flat boxes and went for the ride of their short lives. They were picked up from Kampala at 7:00 AM. The boxes of chicks sat next to Pauline and her 2 year old son, Keith, in a minivan. Unfortunately, the minivan (public transportation) knocked a kid off of his bike during the journey. I believe he is fine. They sat on the side of the road for 1 ½ hours while the police took the information. When they reached Fort Portal, they found a truck that they sat in the front seat of and waited until 6:30 for it to fill up with passengers. The whole time, Keith wanted to get his hands on the peeping chicks. When they finally reached Bundibugyo town it was so late that it was hard to find transport for the last ½ hour leg. Reaching the mission at 11:00 PM, they found that Basaija, the chicken keeper, had given up and gone home. Pauline and Keith slept in the chicken coop to keep an eye on them.

During the first few days, they need constant attention to make sure they don’t drown in their drinkers or overheat near the clay pot filled with warm charcoal. I found them this morning running around the coop and snuggling to stay toasty near the pot. The journey was a success.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Round Two for Goats

Lamech is making preparations for the next goat distribution. He will visit in family in Masaka next week, he lives a day's drive from his wife and children. He'll buy calliandra seed there to distribute to the new beneficiaries. He'll conduct two separate 2-day training the following weeks. One will be in Bundibugyo Town (1/2 hour north) and the other will be on the mission. Seeds to plant for fodder and nails for the goat shelter will be distributed along with an abundance of helpful knowledge.

New Chicks

Yesterday Michael went to Ugachick and ordered 200 newborn chicks. In three weeks we'll be allowed to pick them up. That will give Pauline time to finish preparing their home. The BundiNutrition Chicken Coop has been expanded and they are finishing up on the fence around it. Coffee husks need to spread around the floor and then the house will need to be disinfected. Then it must sit empty for a time.
The 39 chickens from last year are doing a great job of laying eggs still. By August their laying period will end and we'll need to sell them off for meat. The new batch of chicks should start to lay by October.
If we have a better mortality rate, the project will be approaching self-sustainability. The eggs will be used abundantly at the health center and the rest will be sold. The revenue will go into the chicken feed, chicken medications and salary for Basija, the chicken keeper.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

One by One

It was fun to watch the women come one by one to recieve their goats. Many had their babies strapped to their backs. Some had their sad stories written on their faces. Others' faces shown with joy, the pain of life covered by gratitude and hope. During the celebration I had watched one aunt offer her empty breast to an orphan who sucked eagerly, without much payback. I was happy to give her a goat who would produce a kid in 2 weeks and provide life giving nourishment. Other HIV+ moms were ready to wean their children from the breast to a non infected milk source. I wish you could have seen their expressions of gratitude with a smile, a bended knee, a blessing in their native tongue (which were many) , and hands together in grateful prayer.

The World Harvest Team pitched into help, the kids being great goat wranglers, and Pauline and Lamech went the extra mile in making the day fabulous.

Gift Giving

The smiling faces of the women were exciting to see. Biirwa, a local evangelist, shared from the Word of God the story of the talents and making the most of what you have. He encouraged the women to be faithful with the goats they were being given, to put time and care into them. Scott Myhre represented WHM and encouraged the women as well. I was also able to remind them of the Gifts God has given these women, in his Son, and in the goats that will nourish their children. I shared with them how so many people gave Christmas goats in their honor this past Christmas and that they are receiving the benefit of them. They clapped for you in gratitude. After Lamech also shared, a friend and recipient from the group came forward and conveyed his gratitude in words. Then they organized a special clap rhythm that ended in hands extended toward our team leader as though they were heaping the claps on him. They are now being passed onto all of you who made this goat distribution day possible.