Send a Cow started with one simple idea: to put cows on a plane from the UK to Uganda, helping families to fight hunger and poverty.
In the 1980's, EU milk quotas were causing the infamous 'milk lakes' and forcing many farmer to slaughter healthy dairy cows. Meanwhile, Uganda was just recovering from a long civil war. Communities and their farmland had been destroyed and much of the country's livestock was was wiped out.
A group of Christian dairy farmers became outraged at this injustice. Several of them flew to Uganda 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 Uganda could work. People there were unable to feed themselves and milk would provide an instant source of nutrition.
The farmers returned to the UK determined to help. They each agreed to send one of their own in-calf heifers to Uganda. So on the 4th July 1977, 32 cows made their way to Gatwick and were loaded on to crates, ready for their flight to Entebbe, Uganda - and Send a Cow was born.
We've changed a lot since 1988. The BSE crisis meant we could no longer send cows over to Africa from the UK. We now source livestock locally.
In fact, providing livestock in now just a tiny part of what we do. We offer communities a hand up, not a hand out, helping them identify and value resources they already have. Then through training in farming and by tackling social issues such as gender equality, we help families become self sufficient and set up for life.