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Send A Cow

Send a Cow 

Rebuilding local communities with livestock, seeds and training…

Send a Cow works hand-in-hand with thousands of poor families in rural Africa, teaching them the skills they need to build new lives free from poverty and hunger. By providing training, livestock, seeds and ongoing support, we restore hope and create stronger communities for the future.  In the next five years alone we expect to have supported 55,000 families –that’s over 300,000 people.

Founded over 20 years ago, we no longer send cows to Africa from the UK. But we continue to build on the lessons learned by our founders, developing their vision for change into the practical and innovative charity that Send a Cow is today.

It’s an inspiring story. Outraged at EU milk quotas, which were forcing them to slaughter their own healthy dairy cows, and in response to an appeal from war- torn Uganda for milk, a group of dairy UK farmers flew to Africa in the late 1980s to investigate how they could help. Meeting with Ugandan farmers, the Bishop of Mukono, and a livestock expert, they saw how smallholder dairy farming in Africa could work. Milk would provide an instant source of nutrition. They returned to the UK determined to help, and sent cows from their own herds to Uganda.

It quickly became clear that a cow’s manure, as well as just the milk, could help provide the long-term path out of poverty that communities so desperately needed. With 70% of Uganda's poor struggling to survive on infertile soil, manure provided the vital ingredient for communities to improve their land and work their way out of poverty for good.


Working in Uganda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Lesotho, Rwanda, Zambia and Kenya…

Today, Send a Cow buys all its animals locally in the seven countries where we now work: Uganda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Lesotho, Rwanda, Zambia and Kenya. And we don’t just give cows; we provide a variety of animals including goats, poultry and sheep. Sometimes we don’t give any animals at all, focusing instead on training in better livestock management which is beneficial for owners, animals and the environment too.

From the very early days, we realised that we needed to help rebuild communities if providing livestock was going to work for the long term. Without strong support networks, and lots of training, people simply wouldn't be able to manage.

We typically work with groups of farmers for five years to effect substantial and sustainable change. In addition to ongoing training in animal wellbeing, sustainable organic farming practices and natural resource management, our work also provides courses in subjects such as gender equality, family harmony conflict resolution, health and hygiene and HIV/Aids awareness.

This ongoing support and balance of practical farming skills with social, life skills is a potent mix and produces remarkable results, right across whole communities.

Every family we works with agrees to pass on young livestock, seeds or training to others, meaning that we can help even more people to develop skills, confidence and self respect. People are happier and healthier, families have an income, children are educated, and communities are more harmonious.

You may have already heard about Send a Cow through our pioneering Christmas virtual gifts catalogue which we introduced to the UK, or perhaps through one of our government funded development education projects. If you’re new to us and would like to find out more we’d love to hear from you at or Facebook and Twitter

Laura Martin, Communications Officer, Send A Cow

The Archbishop of York has been Patron of Send A Cow since 2007.