It’s always wonderful to give a donation to people in need who live half a world away. The catch is that we don’t always know how much we’ve helped those people. Well, Irish farmer Colm Doyle decided to rectify that.
More than a decade ago, Doyle’s late father, Jimmy, donated a cow to a family in the central African country of Rwanda. So he decided to travel more than 6,500 miles to see first-hand how that cow has changed the lives of one family.
After traveling to Rwanda, Doyle learned that cows donated through the aid agency Bóthar have had a transformative impact on more than 1,000 Rwandan families. Not only does Bóthar help to donate cows to families in Africa. But every year they return to impregnate female cows so that when a new female calf is born, it can be given to another family.
“She’s had nine calves: five female and four male,” Doyle says of the cow his father originally donated. ” Her first female calf would have been passed on so there’s another family obviously somewhere down the road who are benefitting from the initial gift as well… So the gift keeps on giving.”
Before receiving a cow, Rwandan families are given training on basic horticulture and animal husbandry. Doyle, a farmer himself, says it’s obvious that the cow his father donated to Rwandan farmer Mpayimana Johanna is still in good shape and has many good years ahead of it.
Johanna says that aside from consuming the milk from the cow, over the years the animal has helped him to afford a motorcycle for transportation, additional land for his family, and a better education for his kids. He was also delighted to meet Doyle in person.
“No one could understand what (the cow) has done for my family,” said Johanna. “I am so thankful to the people who gave us this gift.”
For Doyle, the trip to Rwanda was well worth it because he could see that his father’s gift has made a world of difference to one family.
“You couldn’t but be content and happy that you gave the donation and it has to make you want to do more in the future,” said Doyle. ” I think my father would be very proud.”