In an effort to provide holistically to their students, the teachers at OM Malawi’s Chiyembekezo School are taking initiative to invest in the family lives of the children who come for lessons each day.

OM Malawi has a vision to provide quality education. Chiyembekezo hosts more than 100 children from preschool to standard grade three. All of them come from families that cannot afford even reduced school fees. And while OM Malawi field leaders Div and Eleanor du Plessis see the school as an opportunity to transform the next generation, they are also seeking to make a more immediate difference in the students’ lives.

Enter the goats.

Catherine Phiri, a teacher at Chiyembekezo since it opened in 2013, leads the goat project. An initiative usually associated with businessmen in the mission’s world. The idea is familiar: lend out a female goat to someone in need, and in one year, receive a young female goat in return to give to someone else.

But for the students in the school and their families, it’s not about building a business, Catherine says. Any income the goats may provide in terms of business profits is a positive result, but the heart of the project is to enrich the lives of the students’ families holistically.

The project will continue as long as new students arrive at Chiyembekezo, Catherine says, but the effects may last eternity

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