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“My cow is my small factory”

A woman wearing a black burqa and standing next to a cow

Million Saleh is the sole provider for her family of seven members. They live in the remote and impoverished village of Dabsan in Lahj governorate. Dabsan lacks clean water and the roads are very difficult – it takes two hours to reach the centre of the district.

Million’s family suffers from extreme poverty. “I was afraid of the future,” she says, crying. “This war increased our suffering so much. I have been searching for work because if I die, my family will die of starvation.”

Million’s children need milk every day, but with prices of food and daily necessities increasing it has become almost impossible for her to give her children what they need to be properly nourished. The combination of high prices, currency devaluation and the distance to the city market created huge obstacles for the family. They were severely food insecure, lacking essential nutrients like calcium.

Million’s dream was to own a cow, through which she could meet her family’s requirements of milk, ghee and other milk products. She could also sell any overflow product on the market as a source of income. But it was difficult for Million to buy the cow she dreamt of; cows are expensive, and her meagre income meant she couldn’t afford it.

CARE International, with funding from the European Union, intervened with the Food Crisis Response Project. CARE distributed monthly instalments of multi-purpose cash to beneficiaries like Million. She received 73,000 Yemeni Riyals (around 130 USD) per month for seven months.

With the cash she received, Million was able to fulfil her dream. She bought the cow with the first four instalments of cash from CARE and made the rest of the payment through a cash advance paid from the remaining three instalments.

“I now live a decent life and feel protected thanks to CARE,” she said. “Having my cow is like having a small factory.”

Not only was Million able to buy the cow, but she also planted a small plot of land with seeds as a food source for her cow. She participated in the Village Savings Loans Association which CARE established in the village, enabling people to save money and pay for expenses like healthcare when they need to.

“We wish we could have more projects like this in our village,” she said with a smile.

A woman wearing a black robe and standing next to a cow
Million Saleh Ali Saleh with her cow
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