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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Club hosts goats on AMU lawn, raise awareness for organization gifting goats in Kenya

Larson Seaver
Photo by Helen Dudley
Zöe Zehren (left,) a sophomore in the College of Communication, and Inah Enolva, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, with one of the goats featured at the event.

There were two goats lounging on the Alumni Memorial Union lawn Oct. 27, turning heads and drawing crowds of students to come pet them. The goats came to campus through Goat Hope Marquette, an organization which gifts goats to HIV-affected families in Kenya.

The event, called “Goats Gone Wild,” went on for two hours. There was “goat” chow and goat-shaped cookies for sale, but club member Alec Bodendorfer said they were primarily trying to raise awareness for their cause.

“Last year we were just getting the club off the ground and trying to get our name out there, which is what this event is for,” Bodendorfer said. “The cookies are there and they’re helping to raise money, but it’s really a publicity stunt.”

Club member Inah Enolva said that they hosted the event because it would draw attention. “When we say ‘Goat Hope Marquette,’ people say, ‘Goat? What?’ We’re hoping this will make people want to join more,” Enolva said.

Goat Hope Marquette was founded in March 2016 by four students. They partnered with a small organization out of New York called Medical Relief Alliance. MRA was formed in 2012 by one of the student’s mothers and Marquette alumna Tracy Masella, along with Kenyan immigrant Beatrice Wainaina.

“They started in 2012, gifting used medical equipment to this area called Embu Kenya, which has a rampant issue with the spread of HIV and AIDS,” club president Abe Stamper said. “Right around 2016 they made the pivot to the goat hope models. They started gifting goats to women and children affected by HIV and aids in the area.”

The organization chose goats because it is a cultural norm in Embu that women are not allowed to own cows, Stamper said. Goats are also able to produce around four liters of milk a day, and their milk is particularly beneficial for people with immunodeficiencies.

Goat Hope Marquette visited Kenya in 2016, and Stamper said they met a woman who could not walk a couple months before the visit.

“She was gifted the goat, and she gained the ability to walk normally and was a lot healthier than she was before we got there,” Stamper said. “It’s one of those weird miracle stories that you think is all fake. It was really cool seeing her ability to gain a lot of her body weight back just from the goat’s milk.”

Stamper said Goat Hope Marquette is currently focused on gaining new members and going on another trip to Kenya. The club planned to go this fall, but their application to travel was turned down by Marquette due to the current political crisis in Kenya.

“I want to get students there, so they can see on the ground how much of an impact you can make on a family even though you’re halfway across the world,” Stamper said. “It’s crazy to see all these people that I’ve never talked to before, but what little footwork we did here and what money we were able to raise made such a big impact in their life.”

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