Women Are Earning A Living By Combining Qurbani With A Sustainable Livestock Programme

50

In Niger, we piloted a new initiative linking microfinance to the livestock market. Hundreds of women received goats and sheep on a sharecropping basis so they could fatten the animals, which are then sold at Eid time in the market with the profit shared fairly.
“We received training in raising animals and fattening them,” says Fati, one of the hundreds of women in Niamey taking part in the scheme. The women take care of the animals before giving them back to Islamic Relief in time to be sold for Eid al-Adha, when the price and demand for animals is particularly high. Receiving a share of the profit, the women can afford livestock of their own and with Islamic Relief’s support are now producing fodder for the dry season.
“With the profit I made, I was able to afford to buy my own animal, a sheep,” adds the 47-year-old. Excitingly, she’s now on the path to a new career having landed a job keeping animals healthy thanks to the paraveterinary training she received through the initiative.
This new approach is being hailed as a sustainable way of expanding the positive impact of the tradition of qurbani by empowering women to earn a living throughout the year. “I now do not have to borrow food or get loans from my neighbors or take credit at the shops,” says Fati, proud of her newfound self-reliance.