On the 3rd March 1989, Kezia and Yowabu Bisere received a cow from the UK. It was named Kisakye, meaning God’s Grace. Nearly 30 years on, we spoke to two of Kezia and Yowabu’s daughters, Irene and Agnes, to see how the whole family's lives have changed thanks to that cow.
“I was about 10 years old when my mother got a cow. I was very excited seeing the cow come to our home. It was a celebration. We loved that cow and it gave us milk.
My parents were very humble people. We did not have much, but they were content. They loved education but they did not have that much.
Because of that cow, I was able to complete a diploma certificate in accountancy. When I got a job, I was able to further my education and get myself a degree.
That cow gave us a great start in life. I think without it, we would not have gone to school. We still keep a cow and it is a very important factor in our lives.
Everything you see here is new. The house you see is new. Our parents could not build a good house and send us to school; they sacrificed so much for our wellbeing. My siblings and I pooled money together and rewarded our parents with a new house, in the same position as where the old one stood.
In all this, Send a Cow never abandoned my parents.
As I grew up, I got to know how important Send a Cow and the cow were in my life. I knew that my school fees came from the gifts of that one cow that my parents received. I even think that my mother and father are still alive because of that one cow. “
Irene now works as an accountant at a prominent Ugandan steel company
“I believe Send a Cow’s support gave me a firm foundation that I am still standing on now. I saw the creativity of my mum and dad raising us. That cow was our lifeline.
My biscuit business is my equivalent of that cow. I do not beg my husband for things I need in my home, just as I did not see my mum beg our dad for our personal needs.
For me, Send a Cow is everything.
I was in senior two when the cow arrived. I had started secondary school without a petticoat; that cow bought me my first petticoat. I cannot forget that.
The cow became part of our family. It became part of our routine and well-being. It was the first cow the family ever owned. It saw us through school either by its offspring or from selling the milk.
Each one of us had their turn to milk the cow. Remember, in this region it is unheard of for a girl to milk a cow. Milking is a man’s job. Not in our household; everyone milked the cow. That helped us cut through the gender stereotypes. We learnt from an early age that what a boy can do, so can a girl,” – Agnes
Agnes now runs a biscuit factory and children’s day care centre.