Global Solidarity Week: Sharing success stories Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Clarence Mougin, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 -- 1:00 AM

MADISON -- With the impact of technology any corner of the world is available to us nearly 24/7.

We become aware of the triumphs and tragedies almost as they occur. We can instantly send our congratulations to the triumphant and donations to disaster stricken areas.

Breeding donkeys on a Donkey Farm is one of the newer initiatives in the Global Solidarity Partnership program between the Diocese of Madison and the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga in Ghana. (Contributed photo)

The celebration of Global Solidarity Week allows us an opportunity to slow down and observe the joys and struggles occurring throughout the world on a daily basis.

Our brothers and sisters, wherever they live, welcome the attention and feel blessed that someone cares for them and is listening to their life experiences, pleasant or painful.

Project in Ghana

One way the Diocese of Madison has reached out to our global brothers and sisters is through our Donkey Farm Project started in 2009 by the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga (N-B) in Ghana in partnership with the Diocese of Madison.

It supports impoverished women and their immediate households in their Catholic parishes. The project provides donkeys, carts, cultivators, plows, and training to women farmers.

These resources given to the beneficiaries allow them to manage and improve their livelihood. In addition, the donkeys alleviate the physical stresses by farming with only hand tools.

Aim of the Donkey Farm

To date the Donkey Farm has built buildings and fences and purchased breeding donkey stock. The aim of the Donkey Farm is to ensure a continuous annual availability of donkeys for these vulnerable women.

The second year of operation was busy including a number of activities: the health care of donkeys, shepherding of donkeys, mobilization of feed for the dry season, and routine veterinary visits.

The first baby donkey born in 2010 we have affectionately named: “Alleluia.” With a long gestation period of 12 to 13 months, additional baby donkeys will be born late this year or early next year.

The first distribution of mature donkeys to the women will take place in 2012 or early 2013.

The key to the success of this project is to ensure the women beneficiaries are well equipped to take care of the donkeys and handle the implements. In the last quarter of 2011 training will include husbandry practices, housing, donkey health, plowing and cultivation techniques, feeding, and recordkeeping.

Success stories

Prior to the Donkey Farm, individual donkeys and accessories were given directly to poor women farmers by donors from the Diocese of Madison.

We have just received several success stories from these women. A beneficiary from the Bongo Parish, Mrs. Comfort, reported receiving income by transporting water and gravel for construction projects. Her donkey and accessories are also used to transport firewood and food to market and to plow other farmers’ fields on a commercial basis.

With these extra funds she was able to pay her children’s school fees and buy school uniforms and books allowing them to attend school.

Another recipient, Mrs. Apibil, from the Zebilla Parish reported her donkey and accessories helped her to increase the productivity of food by allowing her to plant her crops at the proper time of the season. She also reports a drastic reduction in crops lost during harvest because the donkey and cart are available to transport her produce when it is ripe.

These donkeys are having a positive impact on the lives of women, especially on their families and children. Bishop Lucas Abadamloora of N-B said it is difficult to express in words the joy and hope the donkeys bring to needy women. We ask you to pray for the continued success of the donkey farm.

If you have any questions or would like a delegate who traveled to Navrongo-Bolgatanga to speak at your school or youth or parish organization, contact Clarence Mougin, coordinator of the Diocesan Global Solidarity Partnership at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone at 608-850-4084.

To contribute to the Donkey Farm Project send a check payable to the Diocese of Madison, Donkey Farm Project, P.O. Box 44983, Madison, WI 53744.

Clarence Mougin is coordinator of Diocesan Global Solidarity Partnership.

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