The people of rural Zambia rely on agriculture for their living. So when Corridor Disease swept through the cattle herds of this area in 1998, the results were diastrous. Traditional communal grazing methods allowed the disease to spread rapidly, affecting all farmers in the area. Some villages lost all of their cattle, meaning that families had to resort to having wives and children pull the plows to till the fields.
Enter LifeNets. In 2000, Victor Kubik and Andre Van Belkum toured rural Zambia and initiated the process of restocking their cattle. True to LifeNets philosophy, however, it was not simply a matter of handing over cattle–help that would be expensive and that would only last as long as those cattle lasted. Instead, the program insisted that those who would receive cattle would receive education in better care and grazing of the cattle. When those cattle produced calves, they would be shared with others in the village, who would also receive education.
With the assistance and education provided by LifeNets, life has greatly improved in this region. The value of the original LifeNets cattle investment in 2001 was $4,000 US. At the end of 2009, the herd stood at 95 animals and held a value of about $23,750 US. With the success of this program clearly evident in this area, the Cattle Project is now expanding into Kenya and Zimbabwe.