Tasmania's journal of discovery

Revolving sheep success

revolving sheep bank

Tasmania’s only homegrown international charity has succeeded with an experimental project to help poverty-stricken nomads in Tibet.

The Benevolent Organisation for Development, Health & Insight (BODHI) launched the Revolving Sheep Bank, a 5-year micro-credit project, in 2000 with the purchase of ewes and nanny goats from wealthier nomads to lend to poor nomad households in the community. 

The participants have since repaid the loans in full.

‘The sheep bank trial has been a fantastic success,’ says Campbell Town-based Susan Woldenberg Butler, BODHI’s President.

The influence of BODHI’s Revolving Sheep Bank has been far-reaching. It has been the prototype of other yak and livestock projects in Tibet.

A grant for almost $6000 has enabled BODHI to begin Phase 2 by expanding into an adjacent nomad area. They are still looking for funding for years 2-5.

Tibetan shepherds

According to Susan, BODHI focuses on sustainable projects in the areas of health, education, the environment and micro-credit. Other new projects include educating and training a deaf girl in Nepal to teach other deaf students; support of education and mobile health clinics in a tribal orphanage in Bangladesh; working to improve the health of former Untouchables in central India; assisting Chakma schoolchildren against difficult odds in NE India; and working to facilitate accessible health care for rural Tibetans in Tibet.

‘We stress the sustainable aspect of our work, giving a hook not a fish,’ Susan says. ‘All work is voluntary, so over 90% of donations go to projects.

‘It’s our way of giving something back and providing a place for volunteers who want to do something to help people in developing countries but wish to work outside the traditional framework of large organisations. BODHI is small and personal.’

For more information check out the BODHI web site

<< Back to main

STAY IN TOUCH. Sign up to be alerted when new content gets uploaded to Tasmania's online magazine. Enter your email address. We'll do the rest. We respect your privacy and this information will only be used for email alerts.

Pendragon Hall
Roaring 40s
Meadowbank Wines
Ruth Waterhouse jewellery
Slim Ink Book Rental
Mayfair on Cavell
Bush Beats: a walk on the mild side
Guided walks with experienced bushwalker and passionate naturalist, Alison Moore, who will interpret the secrets of the landscape and its living systems. Full day walks, half-day walks or two-hour walks.

Rod & Fly Tasmania
Mike Tanner, a 30-year veteran flyfisher, shares his skills at introductory classes, or guides the more experienced on Tasmania's renowned Central Highlands lakes. (03) 6266 4480

Attitude Taxis
Relax in luxurious leather seats as we deliver you in comfort to your destination. Airport transfers, Tours & Day Trips can be arranged. Call 0417 516 419 or 0409 783 343

Get Firefox!
Diamond Island
Norfolk Bay Convict Station

Tasmanian Jobs
Elizabeth College
Ray White Hobart
Book City Hobart
Stanton Bed and Breakfast
The magnificent convict-built country manor, Stanton, was built in 1817, and is situated on one of Tasmania's first land grant sites — 16 acres of pasture and orchards at Magra, in the heart of the historical and beautiful Derwent Valley.

Red Tag Trout Tours
Roger Butler leads this one-man Tasmanian guiding operation which caters to flyfishers, from all over the world, who share a common goal: getting a wild brown trout to hand.

Cobbers: mates on a mission
We've been looking at the future and it isn't working. But we can fix it, one blog at a time.

Bed and breakfast in Tasmania