Martin Long, Head of Strategic Initiatives, explains why furniture matters more than you might think.

Have you ever been burgled? It is terrible to see your home empty, stripped of all creature comforts: no TV, no pictures, not even a single chair. I have visited Ugandan families in this situation but no burglary was involved; the families could simply not afford any furniture in the first place. Our Sofa Set Christmas gift, priced at £76, addresses this problem.

Living hand-to-mouth

Many families in Northern Uganda are slowly rebuilding lives fractured by the murders, kidnapping and displacement wreaked by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Refugees often have to start from scratch, recreating a home that was destroyed in the fighting. It’s a hand-to-mouth life where farmers are too busy thinking about where the next meal is coming from to plan home improvements.

The humiliation of social isolation

It might seem trivial to talk about furniture in the same breath as war and hunger, but living without chairs or a table is not just impractical and unhygienic, it is humiliating. Women farmers have told me they feel terrible for being unable to host friends and relatives in their home, and that neighbours look down on them. In these spirits, it’s even harder for farmers to find their way out of poverty.

Down-to-earth interior design

Send a Cow is all about practical solutions and you’d struggle to find anything more down-to-earth than our training in making furniture from local clay. By packing mud onto a basic framework of bricks or stones and carefully drying out the resulting shape, families can make their own furniture. It’s simple, free and it solves the problem.

For £76, you can train a family to make a Sofa Set so they will never live in shame and discomfort again.

Buy Sofa Set