'I think she recognised me' - Kerry farmer’s delight over impact his cow is making after donating it to Rwandan family
An East Kerry farmer has spoken of his joy at seeing first-hand how his very last dairy cow, which he gifted to a family in Rwanda, has transformed lives.
Tim Moynihan, from Gneeveguilla, Co. Kerry and his daughter Doreen travelled to the heart of Rwanda in Africa to see themselves the remarkable impact that the last dairy cow from his farm has had on the Rwandan family.
Tim gave up dairy farming six years ago and rather than sell his last cow he donated it through Bóthar to a family near Rwamagana in east Rwanda.
The single cow is just one of an ever growing ‘Bóthar’ herd that is transforming the lives of families across Rwanda – a nation that was savaged by the fastest killing spree in the history of the world almost 25 years ago when up to one million people were slaughtered in its 90-day genocide.
The aid agency has been sending Irish dairy cows and other food-and-income producing animals such as goats, pigs and sheep to Rwanda – it also has projects elsewhere in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia - since the late ‘90s, thanks to the generosity of the 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 donated by Tim Moynihan has not alone given the parents and children of the recipient family a daily source of nutrition they otherwise would not get but proceeds from excess milk and sale of calves born to her have enabled them to educate their children and buy land.
The Co 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 recognised me. We took a photograph of that cow before she left the farm and I have that photograph at home.