Last Thursday, 6th September, over one hundred guests came together to celebrate Bath-based charity Send a Cow’s 30th anniversary at a special drinks reception in Exeter.
Guests gathered to hear the impact of the charity’s work with farming families in sub-Saharan Africa over the last three decades, and to celebrate the fact that over two million people have been lifted out of poverty.
One of the founding farmers, David Bragg from Devon, shared his memories over the years and told guests about the incredible journey that the charity has made.
David shared the story of how Send a Cow began with a group of West Country dairy farmers who decided to send some of their cows to rural families in Uganda struggling after the country’s civil war, and reflected on how far the organisation had come working in six different countries with a UK office base in Bath.
“But it was more than only sending cows”, he said. “It was about building people’s capacity, and building up their confidence”.
He told the story of how one cow in particular changed his life; Gracie, who was donated from his very own herd in Devon.
David had visited Gracie in Uganda, and recalled “Gracie had transformed her new family’s future, and also mine. I was convinced that Gracie’s wonderful legacy needed building on”.
The special guest for the evening was Aklilu Dogisso, Send a Cow’s Country Director for Ethiopia.
Aklilu spoke about how his country and people have been positively affected by Send a Cow’s work over the years.
“I am so privileged and honoured to be here this evening.” Aklilu shared how he was the only one out of his siblings to be sent to school, and how proud he was to now be a country director for Send a Cow.
Telling the story of two Ethiopian families who had been supported by Send a Cow he said, “All of these stories keep me and my colleagues motivated to do this work”.
Closing the evening was Paul Stuart, the CEO of Send a Cow. Paul thanked everyone for attending the event and for their support over the years. He spoke of the incredible transformation he had witnessed in the African families he met.
He told guests how one of the people he met said to him: “My thinking was transformed from death to life”.
Paul spoke about Send a Cow as a community, sharing “We are together as a community, together with all of our staff in Bath, together with Aklilu, together with all the families that we work with”.