With unemployment rate in Mali high, it is important for the church to play a key role in the development of the community.
Muslim converts who are persecuted by their families must have jobs to support their families within the community they live in, otherwise, they will never be able to help build a local community of believers.
Many young Muslims reject the Christian faith because they know, once rejected from their community, they will not be able to earn a living.
Gao Evangelical Church would like to introduce a sheep project that will help fight poverty and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit among young people. The project aims to buy a special kind of sheep called Bali Bali, and raise them until they can be sold at market in the capital city, Bamako, and neighbouring countries such as Algeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Niger where there is a high demand for meat during holidays and feasts.
Outside the country, the Bali Bali sheep is known as a sheep of prestige. Every household wants to say they sacrificed a big Bali Bali sheep during the holidays.
The best time to purchase the sheep is between April and June. During this time, they are inexpensive since most people who raise cattle cannot afford to take care of them and are eager to sell them.
After one to three months of good care and food, the sheep can be sold for three to four times their initial price. More than 90 percent of Bali Bali sheep brought to Gao are sold within three months.
The project will help to create jobs and promote local business. It will also help the missionaries to support themselves and their ministry needs. This project will start small with one missionary who will run the project. After two to three cycles, the money earned will go to help a new missionary and will multiply from there.
Gifts to this project will go toward the purchase and transport of 60 sheep, water, food, medicine and health checkups, and a shelter for the sheep.