- Map 2 - Map 16
- Environment 2 - Environment 16
- The people 2 - The people 16
- Recent history 3 - Recent history 17
- Send a Cow’s programme 4 - Send a Cow’s programme 18
- Programme summary 5 - Programme summary 19
- Map 6 - Map
- Environment - Environment
- The people - The people
- Recent history - Recent history
- Send a Cow’s programme - Send a Cow’s programme
- Programme summary - Programme summary
- Map - Map 24
- Environment - Environment 24
- The people - The people 24
- Recent history - Recent history 25
- Send a Cow’s programme - Send a Cow’s programme 25
- Programme summary - Programme summary 26
- Map Distribution by Livestock/Country 27
- Environment Country Differences 28
- The people 12
- Recent history 13
- Send a Cow’s programme 14
- Programme summary 15
Page 1 of 27
Cameroon is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Africa, comprising three
major zones: the northern savannah, the southern and eastern rainforests, and the north-
western hill region near Nigeria. Rich volcanic soils near the towns of Bafoussam and
Bamenda in the west have permitted much higher rural population densities than elsewhere in
the country. The west is coffee and cocoa country and home to nearly a quarter of the
population. The hot, dry north is home to Lake Chad, the major game reserves, rocky
escarpments and the broad Bénoué River.
Cameroon has over 130 ethnic groups, however, there are 5 major ones: Bamiléké and
Bamoun in the west, Fulani and Kirdi in the north, and Ewondo around Yaoundé. However,
past colonization has meant that French and English are official languages. The Bamiléké are
the most populous group in the western highlands and one of the largest communities in
Douala, where they have taken control of much of Cameroon's economy. In their rural
homeland, there are some 80-odd political units ruled by strongly independent chefferies
(chiefs). Within each unit there are numerous secret societies responsible for the preservation
of rituals. By contrast, a single leader called the sultan governs the Bamoun.
Page 2 of 27
After WWI Cameroon received new overlords courtesy of the League of Nations, which gave
the French a mandate over 80% of the territory, and the British control of two separate areas,
one in the south-western highlands (Southern Cameroon’s) and the other in the north
(Northern Cameroon’s, now part of Nigeria).
After WWII, new political parties formed in French Cameroon, pressing for independence. A
northern-based party, the Union Camerounaise, gained control of the national assembly,
aggravating the resentment of southerners. Following independence in 1960, that ill will
blossomed into a full-scale rebellion that took five battalions of French troops and a squadron
of fighter planes eight months to put down. Thousands were ruthlessly killed and a state of
emergency was declared that lasted two decades. The Union Camerounaise held onto power
and its leader, Ahmadou Ahidjo, a northerner and ardent Muslim, became president.
In 1961, Northern Cameroon’s voted to become part of Nigeria; the south opted for federation
with French Cameroon, forming a single republic 11 years later.
Ahidjo was re-elected as president unopposed in 1975, continuing an exceedingly brutal and
autocratic reign, filling jails with tens of thousands of political prisoners and censoring the
press. Ahidjo's positive contribution was to invest wisely in agriculture, education, health care
and roads, while resisting the temptation to borrow heavily and build expensive show projects.
As a result, school enrolment reached 70% and farms produced enough food to keep the
country self-sufficient and export a wide range of commodities. At the height of his power and
success, Ahidjo unexpectedly announced his resignation in 1982. His hand-picked successor
was Prime Minister Paul Biya.
In 1990, furious with Biya's inept handling of the economy, Cameroonians began openly
accusing the government of corruption and formed a new party, the Social Democratic Front
(SDF). The government's murderous attempt to wipe out the new threat backfired, and in less
than a year there were 30 political parties and nearly a dozen independent newspapers. Biya
eventually called the first multi-party elections in over 30 years.
Various opposition parties took 52% of the vote and a new prime minister, Simon Achidi
Achu, formed a coalition government in 1992. Later that year, Biya narrowly won re-election
as president, defeating scattered and unprepared opposition. Biya's victory prompted
accusations of electoral fraud from international observers and set off widespread rioting in
Soon after the National Assembly (dominated by the Union Camerounaise) extended the
presidential term from five years to seven, Biya won re-election again in 1997, this time
unopposed but with less than a third of voters bothering to turn out.
Page 3 of 27
Send a Cow's Programme
Cameroon was Send a Cow’s first project in West Africa. The project also saw the
introduction of cane rats to the programme. These rats bear little resemblance to the UK
rodent. They are a domesticated variety of the West African cane rat, larger than a guinea pig
and highly prized by locals for its flavoursome meat. The introduction of ‘domesticated’ cane
rats is believed to prevent illegal bush hunting of monkeys, gorillas, buffaloes and other
endangered species in the region - whilst providing an essential source of protein.
Send a Cow is working in the Equatorial Rainforest Zones of the Central, Southern and
Eastern provinces, the Humid Rainforest Zones of the Coastal Region and the dry Far North.
In July 2005, Send a Cow assisted 150 families in the equatorial forest provinces. In the first
year 75 families received four goats (three females and a male) and they will pass-on to 150
families in the third year. Likewise, 150 families were also assisted in the humid rainforest
zones. In the first year 75 families received 4 grass cutters (three females and a male) and
they will pass-on to 150 families in the third year.
In March 2007, we started a new programme in the Far North Province of Cameroon. The
region is very dry, with rain for 4 months, and an 8 month dry season. The programme will
focus on groups in extreme poverty, and build up the capacity of groups to manage their
activities effectively and lobby for better respect of land rights between livestock grazers and
croppers. It will incorporate a strong gender focus. The programme will introduce sustainable
semi-intensive techniques for integrated crop and livestock farming, and will also include;
improved crop storage, improved marketing techniques, energy-saving stoves, improved
water management and harvesting, and agro-forestry. Under the five year project, Send a
Cow will give goats (two females and a male) to 100 families in this Province. These
families will then pass on their first goat offspring to a further 150 families. As with all Send a
Cow ‘gifts’ all recipients of will receive training on how to care for their animals.
Page 4 of 27
Programme funded by SAC with partner Heifer Cameroon
Programme Started: July 2005
Programme Co-ordinator – Anna Campbell-Johnston
Grasscutter Project in the Humid Rainforests of Cameroon
Goat Project in the Equatorial Rainforest of Cameroon
Sustainable Livelihoods from Integrated Livestock Farming in Cameroon Far North Province
Equatorial and humid rainforests in Central, Southern and Littoral provinces
Far North Province
Poor animal management
Poor land management causing nutrient depletion and erosion
Forest destruction and environmental degradation
Limited access to services and assistance
Women (esp. Widows) and Orphans
Cane rats (Grasscutters),
Local Meat Goats
Fodder Tree Seeds & Harvest Training/Seeds
Natural resource management and conservation of forest animals will be built into the
projects. One of the main aims of the project is to reduce the hunting of these and
other forest animals in the wild alongside improving food security and nutrition.
Introduction of domesticated cane rats provides essential source of protein and
believed to prevent illegal bush hunting.
Page 5 of 27
Ethiopia is an enormous country; about six times the size of the UK, but with a population only
a little larger than ours. It is the most mountainous country in Africa, consisting mainly of a
high central plateau, cut roughly north-south by the Great Rift Valley. It has huge climate
variations, ranging from hot tropical valleys, to cool, rainy highlands, to the harsh, dry Ogaden
desert plain. The low-lying Danakil Depression is one of the hottest, driest places on earth.
Only about 12 per cent of the land is used for agriculture, and its forests are rapidly
disappearing: it is estimated that three quarters of the countries tree cover has been felled
since 1975. The terrain results in geographical isolation, so that it contains many bird species
found nowhere else in the World.
The Rift Valley is reckoned to be the cradle of the human race: the 3.5 million year old fossil
remains of "Lucy', our oldest known human ancestor, were found there thirty years ago.
Because of its isolation, it has been a separate country for countless centuries, and its kings
stretched in an unbroken line from the son of the Queen of Sheba, Menelik 1, right down to
Haile Selassie, this century. Today Ethiopia's people belong to many different ethnic groups,
and, while Amharic is the official language; over 100 other local languages are spoken. Most
Ethiopians depend on subsistence farming, though coffee is grown as a cash crop, and many
people reckon Ethiopian coffee to be the best in the world.
Page 6 of 27
Ethiopians are immensely proud of their past resistance to colonial rule: their victory over the
Italian army in 1896 was the first victory of any African nation over a colonial power, and,
though Italian forces occupied the country in 1936, the occupation lasted only five years.
In 1962 Ethiopia, under Haile Selassie, annexed Eritrea, partly to gain access to seaports.
This resulted in 30 years of guerrilla warfare. Though the initial victory over Eritrea made
Haile Selassie immensely popular with most Ethiopians, they were disgusted by the
corruption of the nation's rulers, particularly when the country was hit by the devastating
famine of 1974. The people rose up to depose him, and a military dictatorship took over.
The new government, the Derg, was led by Mengistur Haile Mariam, and set out to crush
many freedoms, jailing trade union leaders and banning the church. As Eritrean and Somali
fighters took advantage of the country's instability, Mengistu responded with ever more
repressive measures, including transferring vast numbers of people against their will to other
parts the country.
The result was further chaos, exacerbated by the decline of the Soviet Union, Mengistu's
main financial backer. With Eritrean and Tigrayan guerrilla fighters hammering Ethiopian
forces, and a massive new famine threatening six million people, the country was brought to
its knees and Mengistu fled in 1991.
A new constitution was ratified in 1994, and the country's first parliamentary elections a year
later saw Meles Zanawi become prime minister. The new constitution allowed any of
Ethiopia's nine regions to become independent if they chose, and Eritrea seceded. The two
countries have fought over boundary delineation since then, but a peace agreement was
signed in 2000. Since then, a fragile truce has held, but the UN warns that the ongoing
disputes over the demarcation of the border continue to threaten peace.
Send a Cow's programme
Send a Cow works in Ethiopia by supporting the development work of the Kale Heywet
Church, a Protestant church with a strong history of practical long-term anti-poverty initiatives.
The work we are funding is based in the Southern Highlands districts of Chencha, Bonke, and
Boreda. Over the years the church has encouraged people to raise the quality of local cattle
by breeding local cows with carefully bred, European-type, bulls. This results in stronger,
larger cows with far higher milk yields. They have also introduced fruit-tree (apples, pears,
plums) initiatives. Such ‘exotic’ fruit fetches very good prices in the capital, Addis Ababa, and
these new ventures have enabled many farmers to improve their standard of living
considerably. Currently, Send a Cow also works with groups in the North Shewa region – on
a programme incorporating natural resource management, improved farming processes and
gender sensitive community development – and partners with Selam Environmental
Development Association (SEDA) to help over 500 households in the drought-prone area
Oromya region south of the capital.
Page 7 of 27
SAC Ethiopia is a SAC Country Programme with support from SACUK programme
Programme started - 1995
Programme Co-ordinator – David Bragg
Work is managed through 3 Project Holder Partners
HiCoDep (Highland Community Development Programme)
Sunarma (Sustainable Natural Resource Management Association) - SACEth and
Sunarma are working in partnership on the ‘Conservation through the Market’
Integrated Dairy and Horticulture Development Project (IDHDP) - Funded by Heifer
International in partnership with SACEth and SEDA (Selam Environmental
Gamo Gafo Highlands in the SW of Ethiopia
North Shewa Zone in central Ethiopia
Oromiya Region in central Ethiopia
High levels of food insecurity
Gender inequality and inequity
Environmental degradation from poor land management
Low livestock productivity due to high numbers of unproductive local cattle
Frequent droughts and famines
Women, and mixed groups
Cross bred Dairy Cow, Local Cow, Breeding Bull, Donkey, Sheep
Fruit Tree Saplings, Medical Shrubs, Energy Saving Stoves, Well digging, SOA
Fruit and Livestock Centres - working model farms have been developed to pioneer the
growing of apples, plums and pears in a mixed farm.
Natural resource management and working with draft animals.
Page 8 of 27
On Africa's east coast, Kenya straddles the equator and shares a border with Somalia,
Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. Its coast is lapped by the Indian Ocean and it shares
the vast waters of Lake Victoria with its western and southern neighbours. The Rift Valley and
Central Highlands area form the backbone of the country, and this is where Kenya's scenery
is at its most spectacular. The humid coastal belt includes the Tana River estuary and a string
of good beaches. Western Kenya takes in the fertile fringes of Lake Victoria and, with the
southern part of the country, some prime wildlife parks. The vast, arid northern region is
where Kenya is at its wildest and most untouched by the modern world.
There are more than 70 tribal groups among the Africans in Kenya. Distinctions between
many of them are blurred - western cultural values are becoming more ingrained and
traditional values are disintegrating. English and Swahili are the languages taught throughout
the country, but there are many other tribal languages. These include Kikuyu, Luhia, Luo and
Kikamba as well as a plethora of minor tribal tongues. Most Kenyans outside the coastal and
eastern provinces are Christians of one sort or another, while most of those on the coast and
in the eastern part of the country are Muslim. Muslims make up some 30% of the population.
In the more remote tribal areas you'll find a mixture of Muslims, Christians and those who
follow their ancestral tribal beliefs.
Page 9 of 27
The present-day country of Kenya, like many other African nations, grew out of 19th and 20th
century European colonialism. At the Berlin Conference of 1885, the great European powers
first partitioned East Africa into "spheres of influence." In 1895, the British government
established the East African Protectorate and opened Kenya's fertile highlands to white
settlers. Britain made Kenya an official British colony in 1920, but did not allow Africans any
participation in their own government until 1944. Local agitation for self-rule continued in
Kenya following World War II. The country was granted independence from the United
Kingdom on December 12, 1963. This day is celebrated annually as a national holiday.
Compared to other former European colonies in Africa, Kenya's transition to independence
was remarkably orderly and free of racial strife, due, at least in parts, to the government's
sensitivity to political rights and freedoms. Kenya has maintained remarkable stability during
the many changes within its democratic system. The original bicameral legislature merged
into a single body, the National Assembly. Since independence, the ruling party has been the
Kenya African National Union (KANU). In 1982, an amendment to the Constitution made the
country a one-party state. KANU then became Kenya's only legal political organization. The
amendment was repealed in 1991, and multiparty elections occurred. The central government
has continued to pursue a policy of Africanization. However, significant participation by
Asians and Europeans is accepted.
Send a Cow's Programme
About half the country’s population lives on less than $1 a day. Outside Nairobi and
Mombasa, subsistence farming is widespread. And in recent years, political upheaval,
drought and AIDS have hit Kenya as well. Send a Cow began working in the poor Butere
district of western Kenya in 2001, in partnership with the non-governmental organisation
Heifer International. We are now working in other Western districts including Busia, Bondo
and Bungoma. These remote, rural regions gets cut off from the rest of the country every
rainy season. They have potentially fertile soil, but most people have only small plots of over-
farmed land and cannot grow enough food to feed their families.
We work with several groups here, with a variety of members. They include women looking
after orphaned children; a few child-headed households; and some people with HIV/AIDS. We
also help one group of blind people, and a youth group. We mostly give dairy cows in Kenya,
but recently have distributed small numbers of dairy goats. The Butere region has a shortage
of good cows, so our beneficiaries have a ready market for the surplus milk.
We are now setting up a pilot peer-training scheme. We are taking groups of farmers to the St
Jude’s Agricultural Training Centre in Uganda to learn the peer training methods developed
there. Our aim is not only to teach the farmers new techniques to apply back home, but to
stimulate and motivate them by giving them a taste of life in another country.
Page 10 of 27
Western Region Programme in joint partnership with Heifer Kenya, funded by SAC
Programme started: 2001 (current cycle of funding; 1995 initial funding)
Programme Co-ordinator – David Bragg
Western districts including Bondo, Bungoma, Busia, Butere, Siaya and Teso.
Poor Farming Practices such as mono-cropping (esp. Sugar Cane and Maize) have
contributed to soil degradation and failing harvests
Has been hit by political upheaval, drought and Aids
Butere is a difficult place to work because communications and roads are poor and it is
a long way from Nairobi.
Women and men, child headed as well as a blind group and youth group.
Pure Bred Dairy Cow, Cross Bred Dairy Cow, Local Cattle, Breeding Bull, Poultry, Local Meat
and Dairy Goats.
Fodder Tree Seeds, Medical Shrubs, Harvest Training/Seeds, Energy Saving Stoves and
Working with orphans (Lusi Community Orphans Project, Grace Community Orphans
Dairy Project and Mosoriot Project) and improving the marketing of farm produce
Page 11 of 27
Lesotho (pronounced le-soo-too) is a mountainous kingdom completely surrounded by South
Africa. It's roughly circular in shape and about the same size as Belgium. Lesotho's forbidding
terrain and the defensive walls of the Drakensberg and Maluti ranges has given both
sanctuary and strategic advantage to the Basotho (the people of Lesotho). All of Lesotho
exceeds 1000m (3280ft) above sea level with peaks reaching to well over 3000m (9840ft).
The tourist slogan, 'kingdom in the sky', is not far wrong, as Lesotho has the highest lowest
point of any country in the world.
Although traditional Basotho culture is breaking down through contact with the rest of the
world, much remains because it still relates to the day-to-day lives of the locals. Customs,
rites and superstitions explain and flavour the lives and ceremonies of the people. Cattle,
cultivation of crops and the vagaries of the weather - Basotho farmers have to worry about
drought, flood, hailstorms, snow and lightning – play an important role in village culture. Much
of traditional Basotho reflects the grim realities of life in a marginal agricultural region.
The country used to be relatively prosperous: about a third of Lesotho’s men worked in South
African mines, sending remittances home to their families. But in recent years they have been
laid off. Many brought the HIV virus back home with them. Now about a third of Lesotho’s
adult population is HIV positive, making it one of the worst affected countries in the world.
Page 12 of 27
Following years of political unrest the 1993 elections resulted in the Basotho Congress Party
(BCP) coming into power.
Following these elections discontent in the army flared up into skirmishes between rebel
troops and forces loyal to the government. These events were overshadowed by the
dissolution of parliament in August 1994 by new King Letsie, Moshoeshoe's son, who cited
popular dissatisfaction with the BCP administration and appointed himself head of state for
both executive and legislative purposes. (Moshoseshoe ‘The Great’ had led the Sotho people
to safety from their native land of South Africa at a time when the Zulu state was causing a
chain-reaction of violence throughout southern Africa.)
The move was widely condemned outside the country, and under heavy diplomatic pressure,
Letsie restored constitutional government the following month, and abdicated in favour of
Moshoeshoe, five years after being deposed. In late 1995, Moshoeshoe II was killed in a car
accident. Letsie succeeded him with little apparent controversy.
The BCP, however, was split between those who wanted Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle to
remain as leader and those who didn't. Mokhehle formed the breakaway Lesotho Congress
for Democracy (LCD) party and continued to govern. Elections were held in 1998, and many
people protested that there had been widespread cheating by the LCD, which won in a
landslide. Tensions between the public service and the government became acute, and the
military was also split.
In late September 1998, a government gradually losing control called on help from its
neighbours. Troops, mainly South African, entered the kingdom and suppressed rebel
elements of the Lesotho army. The fighting was soon over but order had broken down and
many shops and other businesses in Maseru were looted and torched.
Due to intense political wrangling elections scheduled for 2000 were postponed. They were
finally held in May 2002, with the LCD winning again. After a three-year drought, the prime
minister called a state of emergency in February 2004, saying hundreds of thousands were
affected. The following month the Lesotho Highlands Water Project - dogged during
construction by corruption scandal - finally began supplying water to South Africa. It was a
much-needed economic boost, as unemployment hovered between 40% and 45%.
Page 13 of 27
Send a Cow's Programme
Many people in Lesotho are now trying to eke out a living through farming – but the country’s
severe climate and fragile ecology are against them. There is no rain between April and
September. Then in the winter, the rains are sudden and heavy – but run straight off the
mountainsides. That is due largely to environmental damage caused by chopping down too
many trees and over farming the land.
Less than 5% of the population manages to grow enough food to eat all year round.
Because of its terrain we have had to adapt our model radically in Lesotho. We introduced a
pilot scheme in 2001 to explore suitable sustainable farming and water harvesting techniques.
Our permanent programme here began in 2004 and we now work with eleven village groups
near Morija and Matsieng.
We concentrate at first on helping villagers improve the quality of the soil and harvest water
through rainwater conservation techniques, so they can grow better crops all year round. We
show them how to build a keyhole garden, which conserves moisture well. They also learn
composting and mulching techniques; how to use human and animal urine as pesticides; how
to protect crops from animals and the elements; and how to make mini-greenhouses from
Only when all these elements are in place will the villagers receive any livestock. The first
batch of goats arrived in Lesotho from South Africa in September 2004. We are supporting a
new chicken-breeding programme in the town of Morija, and have supplied rabbits and goats
to other groups.
Despite the enormous challenges, results from Lesotho are very promising. People are
reporting bumper harvests of crops they have never previously been able to grow. Our
programme in Lesotho is a significant departure from our standard model – but still gives poor
people the skills and resources to work their way out of poverty.
Page 14 of 27
SAC Country Programme with support from SACUK programme coordination team
Programme Started: 2002
Programme Co-ordinator – Anna Campbell-Johnston
Western region of Lesotho, near the towns of Morija and Matsieng (approximately 40km from
the capital Maseru)
About third of adult population is HIV positive (one of the worst affected in the world)
High unemployment from retrenchment of Lesotho miners from South African mines
Harsh and extreme climate
Mountainous (completely surrounded by South Africa)
Less than 5% of population manages to grow enough food to eat all year round
Mixed village groups including the young, old, disabled, sick and orphans
Dairy Goats, Poultry, Rabbits.
Fruit Tree Saplings, Medical Shrubs, Energy Saving Stoves, Water Storage and SOA
Keyhole Gardens- SACL has developed the use of Keyhole Gardens to increase
garden production from household wastewater
Rainwater harvesting- SACL supplies materials to waterproof large rectangular pits
(Hafirs) to store rainwater
Programme is a significant departure from the standard SAC model.
Page 15 of 27
Rwanda is a land-locked country in central Africa, roughly one-tenth the size of the UK. With a
population of seven million, however, it is even more densely populated than the UK. By the
standards of most African countries, a high proportion of that population (about one third)
lives in towns, partly because of a relative shortage of agricultural land: Rwanda has been
called the "Land of a Thousand Hills", and much of the flatter land has been exhausted by
over-cultivation. Communications are not easy - the country has few metalled roads.
The two main ethnic groups in Rwanda are the Hutus, who make up nearly 90 per cent of the
population, and the Tutsis. Though the rivalry between the two groups has at many times
been bitter, for much of the past 400 years they have lived closely together, intermarrying and
without clear distinctions between the two groups. Traditionally, the Tutsis were cattle herders
and the Hutus farmers, but this distinction was never hard and fast. Though a minority, the
Tutsis have tended to be the dominant group and Belgian colonialists bolstered their position
in the early 20th century. Seeing them as a superior race to the Hutus, the Belgians
institutionalised and so increased the divisions between them. Both groups speak
Kinyarwanda, with French (and increasingly English) as a second language. The original
inhabitants of Rwanda were the Twa pygmies, now just one per cent of the population.
Page 16 of 27
During the scramble for Africa, which characterised the late 19th century, Rwanda and its
neighbour Burundi came under German rule. At the end of the First World both countries
were given to Belgium. The increasingly dominant role of the Tutsis under Belgian rule led to
bitter resentment that exploded into anti-Tutsi violence in 1959, and the flight of many Tutsis
into exile in neighbouring countries. Rwanda gained its independence in 1962, under a Hutu
Savage inter-ethnic violence continued to flare up regularly: tens of thousands of Hutus were
massacred in Burundi in 1972, and several invasions by Tutsi exiles in the early 1990's led to
In 1994 the Rwandan and Burundian presidents were killed when their plane was shot down,
and this was the excuse for a well-orchestrated genocide campaign by Hutus on Tutsis.
Armed mostly with little more than machetes, Hutu militia killed roughly one million people -
Tutsis and moderate Hutus - in the space of three months. The international community, by
and large, was paralysed into inaction, and the killing only stopped when the army of the
Rwandan Patriotic Front, composed mainly of Tutsi exiles, came into the country and took
The new government faced a formidable task: the economy and physical and social
infrastructures were in ruins; a million Tutsi survivors had taken refuge in camps along the
border, huge numbers of Hutus had fled in fear of reprisals to camps in Zaire (now Congo);
when civil war broke out in Zaire, Rwanda was inevitably drawn into the conflict.
Nevertheless, the Government of National Unity, set up after the defeat of the genocide
government, has been impressive in its achievements. The economy has been rebuilt to a
great extent, many of the killers have been tracked down and are slowly being brought to trial,
thousands of homes have been built for those made homeless in the violence. There has
been an emphasis on reconciliation: Hutus occupy some key ministerial seats, and revenge
land seizures are forbidden.
Page 17 of 27
Send a Cow's Programme
Send a Cow began work in Rwanda as refugees were still returning home in the late 1990s. It
is now home to our third largest programme, which is based about one hour’s drive outside
the capital Kigali. While we do follow the same model here as in the other countries where we
work, we also place great emphasis on helping people overcome the fear and suspicion that
has riven former communities.
Most of the people we work with in Rwanda are desperately vulnerable. One group is made
up of men and women widowed by the genocide. Several of them are still too traumatised to
return to their old homes: we are helping them start afresh elsewhere. Other groups are
made up of child-headed households, of which there are estimated to be about 65,000 in the
country. For these isolated youngsters, the support offered by their group gives them the
chance to come out of emotional hiding and start looking to the future.
As the fighting destroyed social networks, we usually bring groups together ourselves rather
than wait for an existing group to approach us. Originally our team asked community leaders
to help them identify 30 poor people who could benefit from our help – and, especially for
orphans, this practice is still fundamental to our Rwandan programme. However, increasingly
groups, having heard of our work, are approaching us and asking for assistance. We then
carry out a survey of the chosen households and groups requesting help to check they meet
the poverty criteria.
Groups – who might be a mixture of Hutus and Tutsis – then attend a training course
together. In other countries our trainees often go home at night, but in Rwanda we think it vital
to bring people together on a residential course at the Gako training centre. They cook
together in the evenings, sing together – and start to rebuild the community spirit they will
need if their groups are to be a success.
The first week of training is dedicated to group dynamic issues. We give more weight to this
element of the training in Rwanda than we do in other countries. Trainers and trainees
explore conflict resolution and reconciliation methods, before electing group leaders and
drawing up a constitution together.
As in other countries, the beneficiaries may then be given dairy cows, goats or poultry,
depending on their circumstances. We often provide them with the means to build animal
shelters too, as resources are scarcer in Rwanda than in the other countries where we work.
There are no quick solutions to the problems faced by Rwanda. But our Rwandan colleagues
have tales to tell that give us hope: of orphaned children grouping together, of training
courses where Hutus and Tutsi neighbours mixed for the first time since the genocide. We
hope now to extend the Gako centre further so that we can help more victims of war and
AIDS to rebuild their lives and their communities.
The programme recently signed two important contracts with the government to work with
about 1350 households (45 groups), in addition to the Send a Cow funded programme of
work. This will be to the same quality as existing Send a Cow Rwanda work, and focus on the
same areas of poverty.
Page 18 of 27
SAC Country Programme with support from SACUK programme coordination team
Programme started: 2001
Programme Co-ordinator – Henry Pomeroy
Central – Gako, Gasabo, Kabuga, Kigali
Eastern Province – Kayonza, Kibungo, Bugesera, Kirehe
Northern – Rulindo
Southern - Nyanza
Trauma from conflict and genocide
Economy rebuilt to a great extent with emphasis on reconciliation
High incidence of HIV/AIDS
Send a Cow’s third largest programme
Widows, orphans from genocide and HIV/AIDS, disabled and child-headed household groups
Pure Bred Dairy Cow, Cross Bred Dairy Cow, Local Meat and Dairy Goats
Fodder Tree Seeds, Harvest Training/Seeds, Energy Saving Stoves, SOA
Gako Residential Training Centre - training in organic farming, rebuilding of community
spirit through group dynamics.
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Uganda is roughly the size of the UK, but with a population of only 21 million. About 25 per
cent of its land is fertile and arable, varying from the very lush land round Lake Victoria to
semi-desert in the north-east. Normally, there is quite enough good land to feed the entire
population, and in addition the area round Lake Victoria and along the Victoria Nile is one of
the best-irrigated areas of Africa. The land is fairly flat but high - on average over 3,000 feet
above sea level, rising up into mountain ranges along much of its borders. The height of the
land reduces the impact of the otherwise tropical climate, so that temperatures rarely go
above 30 degrees C. (85 degrees F),
A wide and complex range of ethnic groups live in Uganda, including the Bantu-speaking
Banganda, and the Lango and Acholi (in the north) and the Teso and Karamojong (in the
east), who all speak Nilotic languages. About two thirds of the population is Christian, and the
remaining third is Muslim or animist. Large numbers of Asians lived there until 1972, when Idi
Amin expelled them: many are now returning, having been specially invited to do so by the
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Uganda is now enjoying stability and relative prosperity, after half a century of turbulence and
The country became a British protectorate in 1890, and gained its independence in 1962.
Within a very short time, one of the leaders of the movement for independence, Milton Obote
had reneged on his promises to the other leaders, particularly to the king of the Baganda, and
made himself president. However, in 1969 he was toppled in a coup led by Idi Amin.
Amin rapidly instigated a reign of absolute terror, with the army authorised to kill anyone
suspecting of opposing his regime. Nearly half a million Ugandans lost their lives over the
next eight years, particularly Acholis and Langos. In 1972 Uganda's entire Asian community
was driven out of the country.
Under Amin's rule, the economy collapsed, inflation went up to 100 per cent, and thousands
of people tried to flee the country. Amin tried the classic tactic of finding an outside enemy to
attack, in this case Tanzania. It was a mistake: the Tanzanian army defeated the Ugandans,
and Amin was forced to flee.
In 1980 Obote was re-elected, and immediately started on his own mini reign of terror,
particularly targeting other ethnic groups. He was deposed by Tito Okello. Meanwhile Yoweri
Museveni was building up a guerrilla army, later to be known as the National Resistance
Army (NRA) The NRA gradually gained control of the country, and finally took the capital,
Kampala, in January 1986.
Museveni has tackled the country's economic and ethnic problems with considerable success.
Many refugees have returned from exile, members of many different communities have been
brought into government, and the economy is in better shape than it has been for the past
century or so. Not surprisingly, Museveni was elected president in democratic, "non-party"
elections in 1994, 1996 and 2001. In February 2006 his party won the first multi party
elections over Dr Kizza Besigye of the Forum For Democratic Change Party (FDC) giving him
a controversial third term.
Possibly the greatest challenge facing Uganda today is the massive AIDS epidemic, which
now affects up to 1.5 million people. Levels of infection are among the highest in the world: in
many places one person in four is now infected. However, the Ugandan government has
probably tackled the problem with more vigour and honesty than any other country in the
world, and infection rates are very slowly beginning to fall. Meanwhile, a whole generation
has been decimated: the loss of so many of the country's economically active people
threatens it’s new prosperity and stability, thousands of children have been orphaned, and the
country's grandparents are having to bring up their children's children.
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Send a Cow's Programme
Uganda is our largest and longest-running programme, and so it is here that we are beginning
to see the full effects of our work.
Just as we had hoped, we are seeing farmers who have fed, clothed, schooled and housed
their families thanks to that initial boost of livestock and training from Send a Cow. And our
work is mushrooming too: many of the groups we originally helped are expanding rapidly,
becoming self-sufficient, and even passing on their skills to others.
These are people who started with very little and have overcome a great deal. When we sent
our first batch of cows to Uganda in 1988, the country was emerging from a civil war.
Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in the fighting during the 1970s and 1980s, and
others lost their families, their homes, and their livestock. In Northern Uganda, many people
still live in fear of violence: from the notorious rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Uganda was hit by a new disaster in the 1980s: HIV/AIDS, which began in the Rakai district in
the south of the country. By the end of the decade, the country was the epicentre of the sub-
Saharan AIDS pandemic. The rate of infection has now dropped markedly, thanks to an
intensive education programme, but its effects are still devastating.
Send a Cow now has three programmes in Uganda: in the east, the centre and the north of
the country. We work with a total of over 130 groups, including three groups of disabled
people and one comprised of child-headed households. The rest are mainly, though not
exclusively, women’s groups.
The core of each of the three programmes is similar. All beneficiaries get training in group
work and organic farming. They are all given livestock: dairy cows, pigs, or goats and poultry.
But there are some regional variations, due mainly to differences in climate. As farmers in the
arid north need to cultivate more land to grow the same amount of food as in the south, we
have provided a number of local cows to pull ploughs. We also give beneficiaries extensive
training in how to conserve water and improve soil quality.
As our longest-running projects in Uganda mature, they have become increasingly self-
sufficient. Two of them – the Mityana and Namirembe groups – no longer receive any
livestock from Send a Cow, but instead give new members animals that have been passed on
from existing farmers.
And these farmers are passing on their expertise too. We have taught some farmers how to
train their peers in organic farming methods. Such training is often informal, but so effective
has it proved that we are now bringing some Kenyan farmers to Uganda to learn the same
We are delighted with the way our work is snowballing. It is testimony to Uganda’s strong
community spirit – without which that original batch of cows might as well never have left the
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SACU an autonomous partner to SACUK
Programme started: 1988 – SAC’s largest and longest running programme
Programme Co-ordinator – Martin Long
Northern Region - Districts: Gulu, Nebbi, Apac, Lira, Arua
Eastern Region - Districts: Mbale, Sironko,Tororo, Pallisa, Kumi, Bugiri, Iganga, Kamuli,
Soroti, Budaka, Busia, Butaleja, Manafwa, Mayguge
Regional Office in Mbale, which manages Eastern and Northern Regions
Central Region - Districts: Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, Mityana, Mubende, Kabarole, Kiboga,
Central and Main office near Kampala, which manages Central, and Southern Regions and is
home to the Senior Management Team and SACU board
Southern Region - Districts: Fort Portal, Rakai, Masaka
High incidence of HIV/AIDS in the past but declining significantly from peak.
Conflict in the north
Women, child headed-households, disabled and orphans
Dairy Cows (Pure, Cross, Local), Bull (Breeding, Local), Poultry, Goats (Local, Dairy, Meat)
Fodder Tree Seeds, Medical Shrubs, Energy Saving Stoves, SOA
St Judes Organic Farming Training Centre
Great Lakes Children’s Promise Programme-aimed to assist child-headed households
and including some citizenship mentoring
Extensive training in the north on water conservation and improving soil quality
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Zambia is famed for its spectacular scenery, such as the Victoria Falls and the Zambezi
River. Most of Zambia is moist savanna woodland, where broadleaf deciduous trees grow far
enough apart to allow grasses and other plants to grow on the woodland floor. In the wetter
north, bushveld covers much of the drier southwest. In drier areas, especially the valleys of
the Zambezi and Luangwa you'll see sprawling branches of stout baobab trees, some
thousands of years old.
There are about 35 different ethnic groups or tribes in Zambia, all with their own languages.
Main groups and languages include Bemba in the north and centre, Tonga in the south,
Nyanja in the east, and Lozi in the west. English is now the national language and is widely
spoken, even in remote areas. About two-thirds of the population is Christian, though many
combine that with traditional animist beliefs. Three-quarters of its population now lives on less
than $1 a day. The country has also been hard hit by AIDS. About one in five adults now has
HIV/ AIDS, and life expectancy has dropped to just 33 years. Zambia also has one of the
highest rates of malaria in the world.
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Following independence, Kenneth Kaunda led Zambia for 27 years, a feat he accomplished
by declaring the UNIP the only legal party and himself as the sole presidential candidate.
Calling his mix of Marxism and traditional African values 'humanism', Kaunda rapidly
bankrupted the country with a bloated civil service and a nationalisation scheme wracked by
corruption and mismanagement.
The 1990s led to more rioting, but this time Zambians demanded a cure rather than a salve:
bring back multiparty democracy. Kaunda capitulated with an amended constitution, legalised
opposition parties and full elections in October 1991. When labour leader Frederick Chiluba
won a landslide victory as president, Kaunda had the good grace to bow out peacefully.
Despite fears that Chiluba would overstay his welcome, he was replaced at the December
2001 elections. His party, the MUD, was not. Chiluba's hand-picked successor Levy
Mwanawasa won the vote, amid opposition claims of electoral fraud.
Despite the political chaos, the election, however flawed, returned one of the most broadly
based democratic parliaments the country has seen, putting an end to the rubber-stamp, one-
party system that has ruled since independence.
Zambia finds itself in a horrendous quagmire of poverty, debt and disease, yet there is a
fragile optimism that the country can yet rid itself of its legacy of mismanagement.
Send a Cow's programme
Send a Cow works in the largely rural Eastern Province of Zambia, on the border with Malawi
and Mozambique. It is a ‘forgotten’ region; it lags behind the rest of the country economically,
and literacy rates are low. The people who live in the province are among the poorest in
But it’s also an area of great agricultural potential: it has fertile soil and a favourable climate,
and produces an abundance of maize and groundnuts. And it has strong social networks too,
making Send a Cow’s job that much easier.
We began work in Zambia in the autumn of 2004, in partnership with non-governmental
organisation Heifer Zambia. We embarked upon a programme to help about 10 groups of
farmers initially by giving them training, dairy heifers and goats. We are looking into donating
ducks and sheep in the coming years too.
Over 3 years we have helped some 360 families in the Eastern Province of Zambia. We hope
that, by giving them that much-needed boost of training and livestock, we will help them tap
into their region’s enormous potential.
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Eastern Province Programme in joint partnership with Heifer Zambia, funded by SAC
Projects Started: 2004
Programme Co-ordinator – Anna Campbell-Johnston
Eastern Province Programme in the districts of Chipata, Chadiza and Katete
A single project in the Copper Belt Province (Central)
Very high incidence of HIV/AIDS
Eastern Region is remote and neglected by authorities
High unemployment from mine closures (Copper Belt)
One of the highest rates of Malaria in the world
Women, mixed and Youth
Dairy Cows (Pure Bred, Cross Bred), Breeding Bull, Local Female Cattle, Goats (Local, Dairy,
Fodder Tree Seeds, Harvest Training/Seeds, Beehives, Energy Saving Stoves
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