you wondering what to buy as the perfect gift for a friend or loved
The livestock charity 'Send a Cow' may have the answer with a gift
scheme that works in the same way as adopting a zoo animal or dolphin.
'Send a Cow' was set up in 1998 by a group of mainly West Country
The idea behind the charity is both simple and practical.
Poor African families struggling to make a living from small, worn
out plots of land, are given a cow and trained to look after it.
In return they promise to give the first female calf to another
poor family. The cow provides milk to drink and sell, and manure
to revitalise the soil.
after a goat donated by the charity.
typically use the extra income from their animals to buy more livestock
and send their children to school.
'Send a Cow' does exactly what the name suggests, said David Bragg,
co-ordinator and founder member of the charity.
"We give cows and other livestock to poor families in Africa,
particularly orphans and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
"A cow won't break, run out of batteries or be quietly taken
back to the shop.
"What's more a cow, goat or pig will be loved year in, year
out. And you can't say that about many presents."
In the 16 years since it started, 'Send a Cow' has helped thousands
of people across Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Lesotho. It
is now opening up new programmes in Zambia and Tanzania.
African family feeding one of the donated cows.
charity found that the cow scheme worked so well that it has branched
out into goats, chickens and other livestock.
All the animals are bought in Africa, which saves transport costs
and also boosts the local economy.
Anyone who wants to get involved can choose from a range of animals
in the 'Send a Cow' catalogue.
A cow costs £750 (£75 for a share), a pair of goats
costs £125 (£25 for a share) or even a hive of bees
at £40 (£10 for a share).
Article first published: 12th November