Devon LivingIssue #02
Farming for the future
A charity founded in Devon that began by sending cows to those in need and has progressed into working with communities across Africa.
In July 1988, Send a Cow’s founding farmers sent the first 32 pregnant cows to Uganda. In doing so, they sowed a seed which has gradually grown and transformed the lives of over a million people in sub-Saharan Africa.
“…I had sent her and other dairy cows to improve the lives of struggling families, it was the beginning of Send a Cow.”
The initiative started as a reaction to Uganda’s food crisis following a long civil war. At the same time, EU milk quotas were forcing UK farmers to slaughter healthy dairy cows, prompting them to embark on a project to send cows from their own herds to Uganda. Founding farmer David Bragg tells us: “in February 1988 I came face to face with Gracie, a beautiful Friesian cow that had belonged to my herd in Devon. Along with a small group of West Country farmers, I had sent her and other dairy cows to improve the lives of struggling families, it was the beginning of Send a Cow.”
Over the last three decades, the charity has evolved into an organisation that provides comprehensive training in organic farming, as well as gender and social development and business skills. Send a Cow provides a proven package of on-going support and practical training, including farming skills, gender equality, sanitation and money management alongside livestock and tools, to ensure some of Africa’s most marginalised people are eating regularly and able to pay for children to attend school. Husband and wife Francis and Josephine live in Kenya and have benefited massively from the scheme. Francis tells us: “I used to be a tobacco farmer and was very poor. Today I sell vegetables along with milk and eggs.” Thanks to Send a Cow training, Francis and Josephine grow enough to feed themselves and sell the surplus, transforming their lives for the better and giving them hope for the future.
David continues: “who knew that a crazy idea, started by a group of farmers almost 30 years ago, would today help 300,000 of Africa’s poorest people every year?” Send a Cow doesn’t put cows on planes anymore, but it has worked with over two million people in some of Africa’s poorest places and it has big plans to give millions more the hope and the means to secure their own future from the land.
SEND A COW
Been inspired? To discover how you can make a difference for those struggling in Africa and to find out more about Send a Cow’s incredible journey, then head to its website where you’ll find additional details on how the organisation helps communities in Africa thrive.
"...I had sent her and other dairy cows to improve the lives of struggling families, it was the beginning of Send a Cow.”