Donkey milk touted in Namibia as a way to help the needy

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Could donkey milk be the way of the future for helping needy children in Namibia?

A community center in the country's northern Oshikoto region has started a donkey milking project as a way of providing nutrition to HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children, according to The Namibian newspaper.

The Tov Multipurpose Center in Tsumeb, the region's largest town (with a population of just 15,000), is also touting its donkey milking project as a way to provide jobs for the community and raise funding.

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Reverend Edward Amadhila, the center's founder, was inspired to milk donkeys after reading a newspaper article praising the nutritional benefits of the drink, said to be low in fat and high in vitamins and proteins, The Namibian reported.

He still wasn't entirely convinced that the project would work.

“We see the donkey as a work animal and not as an animal that can provide nutrition," Amadhila said.

But when the first donkey was milked in December, "I was the first one to taste the milk and it is very sweet."

Donkeys are commonplace in many African countries, but donkey milk is little known.

The Namibian story noted that donkey milk has in the past been used for helping sick people in France and Germany, and in Italy it is still given to young children with allergies to cows' milk.

“We need to come with solutions for our community, if not we will have more people eating from the dumpsite,” Amadhila said.

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