Story submitted by Rosalind Russell:
On Dec. 7, Rosalind Russell, Laguna Beach's "Goat Lady," will depart for Nepal, where she will deliver dozens of pregnant goats to rural village women, giving them a chance to earn money to improve their lives and the lives of those they love.
Because of Russell and her R Star Foundation’s goat-giving project, over 3,000 Nepali women, many who had rarely even touched money, are now able to pay for medicine, food and tuition and uniforms enabling their children to go to school. With the gift of goats, women are able to sell the offspring, giving them previously unheard of income, raising their families’ standard of living along with their own self-esteem and status within their family and village. Since each village that receives goats is required to pass along the same number to another village within two years, Russell’s program has spread exponentially to over 40 villages over the last nine years.
Next month, Russell will add five more villages. Along with the goat giving project, Russell, and her director in Nepal, Rabindra Sitaula, built a school in Sitaula’s birth village. Previously, the children had to walk two hours to the nearest government school. Because of the distance, and potentials dangers on the way, many parents refused to send their children to school - especially their daughters, who would be particularly vulnerable to traffickers.
Russell is seeking donations of both electronics and cash prior to departing. Kindles for the school children already which we load appropriately; video and digital still cameras to record the impact of the goats on the villages; iPads and iPods, which Russell said will help “catch them up to this century,” and iPhones or SIMS-capable phones to connect the isolated villages to the outside world in case of emergencies. Also, a bevy of voltage convertors are needed in order for the electronic gifts to work in Nepal. Call her or contact her via her website.
For the women, who spend hours working outside in Nepal’s frigid winter weather, “Silk thermal underwear of all sizes ... and cashmere sweaters in good repair will bless the women,” Russell said.
Russell, , a collective giving group started by Laguna Beach women, is also soliciting mileage points, corporate connections and any good fundraising ideas. If you are interesting in donating, call Russell at (949) 497-4911 and a pickup will be arranged.