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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Following a special goats' trail
By Francis Gorman, BBC Newsline

A herd of goats has left Northern Ireland to offer fresh hope to families in one of the world's poorest countries.

Roy Cullen with the goats destined for Tanzania

Hundreds of people bought the animals as charity gifts for Christmas.

They hoped goats' milk would make life easier for families in Tanzania.

Their generosity was the first small step in the journey of a life-time for the goats.

The money to buy the animals went to Limerick-based charity, Bothar.

In Northern Ireland, Roy Cullen worked on Bothar's behalf, travelling in search of goats who would make the long journey to Tanzania.

He even renamed his Carryduff barn "the departure lounge".

Followed by BBC cameras, he brought the goats together and prepared them for their new, hotter homes.

A Tanzanian family celebrates the arrival of their two goats

A BBC Newsline special - Flight of the Goats - charts the journey from Northern Ireland.

Two goats, in particular, held the film makers' attention. Fudge and Cappuccino were destined for the home of the Fumo family.

But not before the children from Rosstulla School, Newtownabbey said a fond farewell to Fudge, the goat they sponsored.

Then it was off by plane to Tanzania.

Peter Ireton of Bothar said: "In east Africa, when one family gets the gift of a goat, it is like giving them a key to a business on the high street."

The cameras tracked Fudge and Cappuccino to the Fumos' family home where eight children and four adults welcomed them with open arms.

It meant fresh goat's milk and the opportunity to sell the surplus for much needed food and supplies.

These Irish goats are being sent to Tanzania

Irish goats can produce up to four litres of milk a day.

It is three years since the Shebughe family got their Irish goat.

With the money from the sale of milk and the goat's kids, they have built a new house to replace their old mud hut.

For them, it is a Christmas gift guaranteed to bring a life-time's joy.

The goats are sent to various areas across the east African country, particularly to tropical coastal regions.

The charity, which began in 1991, operates other projects in more than 30 countries involving animals including cows, camels and even bees.

Bothar is one of many charities involved in sending livestock to Africa.

Flight of the Goats is on Wednesday 26 July on BBC 1 Northern Ireland at 2240 BST.

Goats offer milk of human kindness
04 Jan 06 |  Northern Ireland
Country profile: Tanzania
18 Dec 05 |  Country profiles

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