Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

An Educational Economic Stimulus Plan for Shimbwe

Project #
Bates College
  • Sam Nagourney
  • Jake Nudel

Life in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro might be politically stable, but it is undeniably impoverished. In the village of Shimbwe, many men travel long distances to find work, and households are led by women who often must choose between putting food on the table and educating their children. Malnourishment is common and takes a heavy toll on educational outcomes, contributing to a cycle of poverty.

The goals of Jake and Sam’s project were to improve the diets of the schoolchildren of Shimbwe, to teach students animal husbandry skills, and to provide families in the community with credit in the form of livestock. Guidelines defined by the community were established through partnerships with a local NGO, the Minjeni Women Group Trust, and the Sia Primary School, where the initial group of nine goats were settled. Throughout the summer, Jake and Sam worked with numerous stakeholders in order to ensure the success of the project. A goat shelter was designed and constructed. Teachers and students were taught the basics of goat care, and several days of goat-management seminars were held for community members.

By the end of Jake and Sam’s time in Shimbwe, four of the seven goats were pregnant. Teachers and students are caring for these goats, and the next generations will be shared with the community through a carefully constructed loan arrangement with the local NGO, with the goal to build a community-wide project of goat breeding and milk sales in Shimbwe and beyond. As the female goats begin to lactate, goat milk will be made available to the children of the Sia
Primary School.