To date, 22-2-2018, we received € 16,010 in financial aid from family, friends and people unknown to us and that amount keeps growing. We are moved. Together with the compensation payed out by the government, our post-fire income is € 20,942.
€ 90 – spontaneous cash donations immediately after the fire
€ 2,100 – spontaneous donations to our bank account (situation 12-11-17)
€ 2,140 – crowdfunding campaign organised by our children (action ended)
€ 11,680 – one-woman action Jacqueline (state of affairs 22-2-2018)
€ 4,932 – compensation payed out by the government
We also received and still are receiving donations in kind:
this website, made available by Biz2web from Anja Nijborg (www.biz2web.nl); food during the first days after the fire; ‘goods’ in many shapes and sizes: clothing and shoes, a mattress, pans, plates, glasses, etc., a refrigerator, a bungalow tent; hay and feed for the goats; a chain saw; tools, including a drill and hand tools; seeds; loan from the caravan in which we currently live; and, as we trust, a small house from SIC Esperanca, payed for out of a national fundraising campaign immediately after the fire.
We are very careful how we spend the donations we have received. If we spend money right now on something that isn’t strictly necessary, it may mean that we will not be able to pay for something realy essential at a later point in time.
Therefore, we use the donations only for absolutely necessary expenses. Sofar we payed for (rounded amounts):
1. re-connection to the electricity grid (€ 300)
2. new water pipes, a pressure vessel and repair of the pump and the pump housing to re-install the irrigation system (€ 400)
3. a (very old) new car because the flight-jeep, our only remaining mode of transport, gave up the gohst shortly after the fire
4. tools for the clearing and demolition work on our ruin
5. material needed for making cheese
6. building materials for the barn and for the roof above the oven from a donation earmarked for this purpose (€ 6000)
After this we keep our hand firmly on the purse-strings until we have clarity about if and how we can continue with our goat farm. I would like to explain why it all takes so long before we have a clear picture of money matters.
What are the difficulties we face?
Of course you are allowed to keep goats and make cheese to sell here at the local Sunday market. You can have a maximum of 6 goats, 6 sheep and a pig. The milk and meat production and processing does not yield enough to make a living.
That prevents wild growth and unfair competition.
As soon as you want to work professionally with animals and milk, you run into all sorts of rules and regulations. You have to consult and reach agreements with various authorities.
The first hurdle to be taken is that we need a small change to the zoning plan of our land. At present it is largely classified as forest land and there you can’t build stables, let alone a cheese factory, however small. It is still unclear whether we can register as an agricultural company on our land.
Consequently the stables and the cheese factory have to meet various requirements. It is unclear which materials can or can not be used or not.
If we get everything sorted out, we have to find out how much subsidy we are elligable for. That can amount to 50% of the investment. So we must have a good plan at the start that guarantees a maximum subsidy and try to contribute as large a sum as possible of our own money. We will not have enough to realize everything and will most likely have to call on a bank. But whether that will have good results is very uncertain.
In any case, we want to try to double the money that has been donated by making sensible use of subsidy schemes.
We try to arrange the layout of the cheese factory so that other small-scale farmers can also process their milk or have it processed.
Together with a mobile milking truck, we can help and facilitate the start-up of a small goat or sheep farms. We also can provide advice, construction materials, knowledge and volunteers.
If this works we try to increase the value by attracting tourists, giving training, therapies and organizing courses in various areas.
Stabels that are large enough will cost about € 15,000 to build. For the cheese factory we will need about € 30,000 in equipment and a mobile milk tank is about € 2,000.