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Uganda: how a distant dream became reality

Former farmer David Bragg explains the difference he and others have been able to make to poor families in Uganda …

Former farmer David Bragg explains the difference he and others have been able to make to poor families in Uganda …

‘‘In February 1995 on a tiny farm in Uganda 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 poor families struggling from the recent civil war – it was the beginning of Send a Cow.        Above: David in Africa, below: (centre) with Send A Cow founders
“Not only was Gracie healthy and well, but so were her new owners. They told me how Gracie had provided them with nutritious milk that they could sell and drink, and how she’d bore them three calves since they received her three years previously.

“With great pride they told me how they now ate well and were preparing to send their eldest son to university – something which was once a distant dream. I distinctly remember their wonderful sense of contentment. There was so much joy on that farm, as God had answered their prayers.
“For the first time, I realised what an incredible difference just one cow could make. That day was a call from God and I had a deep sense, a stirring in my mind, that it was time for a change. I decided that on my return to the UK I would sell my remaining dairy cows (around 200), dedicate more time to volunteering at Send a Cow and allow myself to be guided by God.
“I finally retired from farming altogether in 2002 and soon after became a full time employee of Send a Cow as a Programme Co-ordinator, a position I would stay in for 13 years. Throughout my life, I have often felt God’s presence guiding me and I know he played a key part in Send a Cow’s journey. 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?’’
David Bragg was one of the South West dairy farmers who founded Send a Cow in 1988. In the early days, they literally flew their cows on planes to Uganda. The charity no longer puts cows on planes but it does work in seven countries in Africa and provides a range of livestock as well as training, seeds and tools to help smallholder farmers to grow their own food and secure their futures from the land.  

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