SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS FOR WIDOWS FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE

Hope is a much commodity especially in these days of high-inflation and political turmoil. A few
years back when The Goat foundation begun its activities in Kenya, Mr. Steve Down set forward
a vision of giving hope and inspiring families by making a donation of two goats per a family in
impoverished communities. The foundation prioritized orphans and widows and orphans as they
were most vulnerable to the economic pressures of seeking sustenance while battling social
constraints to personal welfare. Over the years, testimonies of transformed fortunes in lives
touched by the activities of the Goat Foundation continue to inspire Mr. Steve Down as he
steadfastly upholds the philosophy of Cause Capitalism.
It is also remarkable that, as the world observes the United Nations’ ratified International
Widows’ Day, on June 23 rd 2022 under the theme “Sustainable Solutions for Widows Financial
Independence,” the Goat Foundation had already been pursuing the same vision in over three
years. This day is a moment of reflection about the gains so far consolidated and the challenges
that lay ahead for widows everywhere, not only for Steve Down and his team, but for the rest of
the international community.
On this date, we are therefore grateful to be in a society that was informed and chastened
through public awareness campaigns that addressed social stigma which had fueled the
discriminatory practices of yesteryears.
Today, it is noteworthy that widows have access to a fair share of their inheritance, land
and productive resources, pensions and social protection that are not based on marital status
alone. Education has made decent work and equal pay, possible and children raised by widows
can attend schools and receive training opportunities.
Governments have played their legislative and policy enforcement role too. Programs
and policies for ending violence against widows and their children, poverty alleviation, education
and other support to widows of all ages have been undertaken, including in the context of action
plans to accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Whereas widows are women too, it is instructive that we remember to advocate that
specific measures are adopted to protect widows, even as women empowerment continues to go
mainstream in African societies.
To these ends, the Goat Foundation framework that aims to tackle economic, educational,
health and violence against widows is instructive. Food grown is mainly for in-house
consumption. The Goat Foundation through Steve Down identified this as a deterrent to
achieving sustainability. By giving goats to low-income households in rural areas, the
beneficiaries are able to integrate and diversify the farming methods.
For every family that receives two goats, they become endowed with prospects for
economic growth. This is crucial because, the absence of economic means is a causative factor
for poor health, malnutrition, and loss of education opportunities. A poor widow lacks the social
capital to defend herself against an aggressor.
Through the Goat Foundation, the philosophy of Cause Capitalism has indeed worked to
fulfil its intention. Mr. Steve Down formulated and patented this idea as a guiding principle to be
applied by for-profit organizations towards social welfare. By pledging a percentage of their
gross income towards a non-profit, case in point the Goat Foundation, Capitalism acquired an
altruistic motive that went beyond the accumulation of profit.
Widows all over the world continue to encounter new challenges and as we mark this
International Widows’ Day let us spare a thought for those among us, whose loved ones they
lost, but still bravely continue to inspire us with their courage, industry and smile.

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