It has been almost six months since Jim passed away on April 7, 2019. I think of him as a good friend and close colleague. Many of us remember Jim as a collegial team member at the International Goat Association, but few knew that he was instrumental in every major decision I made as the President of IGA.
Jim was very much respected and trusted, and I often took his advice and went against my own instinct and wishes. He served as Secretary-Treasurer for IGA under more than one president. Jim was particularly supportive when we tried to rebuild IGA’s financial standing. He was an important partner when we embarked the strategic planning process, for the first time in the history of IGA. With the participation of Christie, Rosalee, a facilitator, among others, Jim worked tirelessly to make sure the logistic was well in place.
The International Goat Association is sad to announce the passing of Dr. James De Vries on April 7, 2019 (February 13, 1944 - April 7, 2019).
Jim was a very devoted member of the IGA. He served as the IGA Secretary-Treasurer for two terms and was a Board member for three terms.
He was born in the Netherlands, emigrated by boat with his parents and seven siblings to the United States, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1961. His passion for helping others led him to join the Peace Corps where he served in East Africa. His time in Africa marked a turning point in his life.
My Visit to Siddhi, Chitwan, August 25-28, 2018
Written by Yumiko Kawamura, IGA member from Japan
Thanks to the wonderful assistance of Heifer International Nepal, I had the opportunity to visit Siddhi, a hillside village in Chitwan, where most residents are from the Chepang people group. The purpose of my visit to Siddhi was to witness the current livelihood status of Chepang and how goat initiatives deployed in 2012 by Heifer International Nepal are progressing.
The Chepang are one of 125 ethnic groups found in Nepal. They live in central Nepal along the steep slopes of the Mahabharat range from 45 meters to 1,400 meters above sea level. They are found in Makawanpur, Dhading, Chitwan and Gorka Districts, which are among Nepal’s 75 administrative districts. Based on their low economic status and threatened cultural identity, the Chepang are categorized as a highly marginalized indigenous group by National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN) (World Vision Advocacy Forum, 2009). According to a 2011 population census, there are 68,399 Chepang people in Nepal among which 34,640 are males and 33,779 females; and more than 97% of Chepang people live in rural areas (CBS, 2011).
Purpose of this book
The aim of this book is to assist owners of indigenous goats with extensive farming systems. It looks at ways to improve the productivity of their flocks. It is designed to be shared with farmers in a way that allows them to understand how to find their way through the book and how to find the information that they need. It is best if the book is part of a capacity building programme being implemented by extension officers and field workers.
There are further training materials to support training farmers on this book. They are available at www.mdukatshani.com or www.heifer.org.za. These are training modules linked to sections in the book and are in downloadable .pdf for printing or a downloadable PowerPoint presentation.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.