Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Not it’s a, er, goat.
Well, actually it’s Mike Boswell, a CAFOD school volunteer from Manchester. He’s dressing as a supergoat this Lent and is visiting schools in the Salford diocese to tell the story of how a dairy goat is changing lives in Kenya.
Like many other CAFOD volunteers, he’ll be delivering goat themed assemblies, passing around goats’ milk for children to inspect, and will be telling the story of a child called Tabita and her goat.
Tabita nearly died of hunger as a baby, after a drought that hit her community in Kenya left her family with very little to eat. But she was kept alive by the nutritious milk of a dairy goat that was provided by CAFOD partners. Now Tabita and her family are stronger and grow their own food.
Tabita and the goat are the feature of CAFOD’s Lent Fast Day appeal . Last weekend I was kindly given the opportunity to talk at the end of the weekend masses at St John the Evangelist Church in Angel, North London, about Fast Day. Though I didn’t have a goat costume to hand, I nonetheless tried to explain the super nature of this animal.
It is a funny looking animal. But the family have a real passion for it. And no wonder. It not only kept Tabita alive, but since then has become like a walking, bleating bank account.
I shared the fact that the goat is not fussy with what it eats, and so can keep on producing milk even through hard times of drought. It produces more milk than most local goats, 2 litres of milk a day, whereas a local goat in Kenya can only produce 25ml of milk.
I emphasised that it wasn’t just milk that the goat brings. By selling the milk the family can earn money to buy food, or to hire a tractor to help plough the land so that they can grow their own food.
It’s clear that the family really value this goat. They no longer have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. They have food for tomorrow, and hope for the future.
So you might hear about the goat in Mass this coming weekend, or your child might be in an assembly and hear about the super goat.
And so Mike, dressed to delight children in Salford, is right: this goat is pretty super!
This Lent we are invited to go hungry for children like Tabita, and to be hungry for change. God created a world of abundance with enough food for everyone, but we have turned it into a world of want where each night, one in eight people goes to bed hungry due to lack of food.
And so today, on Lent Fast Day and we are invited to share a meal we would have had with those in our global family who are hungry, or to put a donation in our Fast Day envelope, or make a gift online.
About the author: Victoria Ahmed works in the Community Fundraising Team at CAFOD, and is now a goat’s milk convert.
Thank you for your generosity and compassion and support this Lent Fast Day. Download our Guide to Lent and beyond post-Fast Day for ideas of how to get your parish involved in Hungry for Change this Lent.