Former Manager of Liverpool football club, Bill Shankley once said he was disappointed in people who said that the game of football was a matter of life and death, by saying “I assure you, it’s much more important than that!”

Camel Pink WallAnd if there is one thing Somalis might love more than Liverpool FC …. it’s Camels. In a much more tangible way (apologies to LFC supporters) camels are much closer to a matter of life and death.  When I asked a Somali friend what purchase a herder might sell a camel for, he responded “Are you mad? He’s thinking what he can sell to benefit his beloved camels!!”

In an environment like the Somali region of Ethiopia there are inevitable inter-plays between a love of camels, on one hand, and a need to trade them for expenditures on education, health or to avoid devastating losses in times or places of drought.

But how to engage pastoralists on these crucial issues and generate lively, self-reflective discussion? Will delivering “training” on the issues change behaviour. And would this training be facilitated and paid for by those who don’t love or even have camels themselves. And would we expect anyone to listen, or change? ….

  challenged Desert Rose Consultancy to create a tool which illustrated some of the key interplays of livestock management and in a fun way led to discussion of beneficial strategies.  Desert Rose designed the tool as an entertaining game that really is much more important than that.  

We took it to the streets of Jigjiga where it was designed, road-tested, manufactured and is currently being marketed. Here is what happened ….

Download this as HD video here (450Mb).

Read more about our innovative approach to “the rules” of the game in our post designing for the end user.

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