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How we work

Every day families face poverty that is extreme, cruel, and worst of all – unnecessary. But rural Africa is rich with opportunity and where there is land, there is hope.

Send a Cow doesn’t impose solutions, we help grow them from within. That’s why they work. Our African-designed solutions were developed with, and for, the communities we support. Families get back the skills and confidence they need to get the most from their land. Families can grow enough food, earn a living and go after their dreams.

And because the families we work with pass on what they know, success quickly multiplies, from family to family, community to community, generation to generation.

Working across six African countries, we speak many languages. But in all of them, Send a Cow has come to mean a better future.

100% are smallholder farmers

Families who can learn to grow nutritious crops from their own land.

65% are female

Research has shown that women are more likely to invest income into their family‘s future.

50% are widows

We work with some of the most vulnerable people in Africa.

Many are disabled or have HIV/Aids

Our work ensures no one is left behind.

The three pillars to our work

Gender and social inclusion
Farming the land
Business skills
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Our local staff in Africa help families develop a shared vision for their home. Women in particular are supported to raise their aspirations beyond subsistence farming. We help husbands and wives work out how best to share the workload and decision-making to achieve their vision. Families become more harmonious and prosperous, and children grow up happier, better educated and with wider horizons.

In three out of four households, women and men are now equal partners in making decisions about how to use the family's land, and how to share the workloads.*

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We help farmers understand and map out the resources available to them within their community. Then we teach them the organic agricultural principles and skills they need to integrate these into a sustainable, biodiverse farm – without expensive artificial fertilisers or GM seeds. Techniques such as water harvesting, composting, vegetable growing, tree planting and animal husbandry are easily adaptable to each farmer’s own land and needs. As farmers start producing enough food to feed their families and sell a surplus, their confidence and self-esteem are boosted.

97% of farmers believe they can provide enough food and income for their families' needs from their farms.*

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Once families are eating well and earning enough to send their children to school, we encourage them to think bigger. They learn money management and enterprise skills so they can access savings and credit services. They discover how best to add value to their produce, and how to store it. They even group together into cooperatives, allowing access to more training, better infrastructure, and more reliable markets. They become resilient entrepreneurs, capable of making choices and in charge of their own futures.

By selling surplus farm produce, families' income increases six-fold.*

The “why” behind our work

These are our position statements which explain why we work in the way we do. These are the principles behind our work:

Our position on the climate crisis

Dramatic changes to weather patterns are affecting vulnerable farmers – like the families we work with – first and worst. We understand the need for urgent action.

Our position on sustainable agriculture

We don’t just want to generate enhanced harvests quickly, at the expense of soil quality and diversity. Our work needs to be effective long-term.

Our position on livestock in sustainable farming

The right farm animals, well-chosen and well cared-for, can be part of an environmentally sustainable system providing vital nourishment for rural families in Africa.

How we spend your money

* Data from our impact.