Jan 20, 2010
A wave of inspiration and hope was ignited during a poster session and presentation on Pigs for Peace.Â Through an economic empowerment strategy that costs as little as $10 for a donor to buy a share of a pig, Dr. Nancy Glass is helping women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire).Â As survivors of war, rape, displacement, malnutrition, disease, and multiple forms of oppression and gender inequity, these women are achieving economic self-sufficiency and improving their quality of life through this lending program.Â While women in the Congo are not allowed to make decisions about selling or killing a family cow or goat, they can make decisions about a family pig. Pigs for Peace loans a female pig to a Congolese family and provides a pen, veterinary support, and education about raising pigs.Â Pigs do not take much space and are able to forage and eat most anything.Â Congolese partners of Pigs for Peace provide the initial male “parent” pig at the village level. The family then gives back two piglets, one from each of the first two litters, to repay the loan. Other piglets can be used for meat or sold for an income of approximately $40. This approach circumvents the need for families to come up with money or pay interest in a country where the average annual income is only $89.
Dr. Glass partnered with Great Lakes Restoration in 2008 to start Pigs for Peace.Â A $50 donation buys one whole pig for a family.Â Through a highly innovative initiative that works within the community, culture, and family, Dr. Glass is helping to empower women in the Congo, one pig at a time.