An East Kerry farmer has spoken of the joy at the seeing first-hand how his very last dairy cow, which he gifted to a family in Rwanda, has transformed their lives.
Tim Moynihan, from Gneeveguilla, Co. Kerry and his daughter Doreen travelled to the African country to see for themselves the remarkable impact that the cow had on the family.
Tim gave up dairy farming six years ago and rather than sell his last cow he donated it through Bóthar to the Rwandan family.
Bóthar has been sending Irish dairy cows and other food-and-income producing animals such as goats, pigs and sheep to Rwanda and other projects in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia since the late ‘90s.
This has been possible only thanks to the generosity of Irish farmers and the wider public.
Its current programme in Rwanda is in support of the Rwandan government’s ‘One Cow Per Family’ project which aims to reduce extreme poverty in rural areas of the country by providing each poor family with a cow.
The cow has given the family a daily source of nutrition they otherwise would not get, while also allowing providing money to educate their children and buy land.
The Kerry farmer said he was overjoyed at seeing the difference the cow had made and also at being reunited with her one last time.
"I never dreamt in my life I'd ever again see that cow. I think she recognized me. We took a photograph of that cow before she left the farm and I have that photograph at home.
Looking back on the donation and the reasons for it, he said:
"We said we'd donate this heifer to a country that would need it more, and this was the last heifer to come from my farm."
Tim's daughter Doreen travelled with him and spoke of the impact the trip had on her father.
“The experience we just had, seeing my father’s cow now on this farm was just amazing; quite emotional actually to see how well she's done and how much she's done for the family.”
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