About | Donate A Goat Hi, my name is Debbie Glasband and I recently volunteered in eastern India for 6 months, working with the tribal people you saw in this video. They are indigenous to Koraput, the second poorest district in India. Due to their poverty, illiteracy and status as the bottom of the caste system, they are often taken advantage of by landowners and local officials who deny them their rights, steal what little money they do have and treat them with disdain. If you visited this region in India, you would meet people from higher castes that could not care less about the situation of these people. My intention with this video is to show you how special they really are, and to show them that we do care! This video attempts to show that these are real people, with senses of humor, talent and real potential to improve their lives with the proper support. I personally admire their simplicity, love of nature and dignity under some of the most crushing circumstances. This isn’t just about raising money for poor people, this is about providing opportunities they cannot access due to discrimination. The video stars people from Puki and Nua Kerenga villages, two of many villages that were displaced by hydroelectric dams and mining projects. Forced onto land that is difficult to cultivate, they have resorted to migrant work and borrowing money from landlords in order to survive. Being in a constant state of poverty means they: (1) Can’t afford to educate their children (2) Often die of illnesses that are otherwise easily preventable (3) Accept loans from moneylenders at interest rates they can never pay off (4) Lack the capital to invest in any farming projects that could ease their suffering. Even though the government of India has made huge provisions to help the tribal people, the sad truth is that corruption often prevents these programs from being realized. As the tribal people continue to live under these conditions, their fascinating cultural heritage and very existence are at stake. Why Goats? For tribal people who are landless, raising goats is a great alternative source of income. Families who breed goats can earn a good profit selling the kids in the local market. The extra income provides a safety net for families that can be used for things like medicine, food during lean periods and farm equipment. While I was volunteering in Koraput, I personally witnessed a village that was transformed by a similar goatery program. Three years ago, Goats & Hopes, a UK-based charity, gave a goat to each of the 37 families in the village. I went to visit the village and was greeted by 96 goats and their families who told me stories of how the goats have given them the extra savings they needed to break free from their debt to moneylenders. The success of this program demonstrates the long-term effects of goats as a sustainable income-generation source. Who will execute the project? Through my volunteer placement, I developed a close relationship with a grassroots nonprofit organization located in Koraput. The organization has been working with over 225 tribal communities for the last 15 years in the areas of health, HIV/AIDS, livelihood, governance, education, disaster relief and community radio. They have managed several goatery programs in the region and have learned how to institute them successfully, provide timely vaccinations and train the villagers on how to care for the animals, market them effectively and manage their profits. With over 100 field staff who have strong, trusting relationships with the tribal people there, I am confident that the program will run smoothly and efficiently. In addition, I will be managing the project remotely to determine the best strategy for allocating the funds and monitor the progress and impact of the program. I also want to mention that donating through “I Want a Goat” directly to this nonprofit in India will give you the most possible bang for your buck. 100% of the proceeds will be going straight to the people who actually do the work in the field to purchase and deliver the goats. How will the money be spent? I will be sending 100% of the donations to the grassroots nonprofit in India (mentioned above) and work with them to identify beneficiaries and determine the most effective strategy for allocating the funds, which may differ depending on the amount of money raised. In general, the money raised will be used to purchase goats, vaccinations and sheds and also provide training to the poorest, landless villagers in Koraput. Is there such a thing as too many goats? Yes. It is not our intention to flood the Koraput district with goats – this could do more harm than good. If we reach this saturation point, we will begin planning other interventions depending on the amount of money we have left. Our NGO partners have many great existing interventions that could use our funding. From education to healthcare to disaster relief, there is a lot of work to do. We will be posting regularly on this site as the project progresses with transparent updates on what we think is the best way to allocate the funds. Our existing donors and the entire online community will be involved in helping us make these important decisions – if and when the time comes. Let’s hope so! Who made the video? My good friends at Seedwell, a video production company, volunteered to help me shoot and edit the parody. We shot the footage in Puki and Nua Kerenga villages in Koraput, India. Beaujangles, Furia and Pakwit performed and recorded the song. If you have any questions or want to learn more, you can email me directly at: email@example.com.