Send a Cow (SAC E) has been marking its 10th anniversary this week. When SAC E started in 2006 it was working with 10,320 people. Now it’s worked with nearly 100,000 and has big plans to help thousands more.

In this interview, Country Director Aklilu Dogisso, explains what working for the charity means to him.

What are the key lessons you learned in working for Send a Cow for the last 9 years?

“That you can challenge peoples’ mind-set or outlook so that they move out of their comfort zone and think differently brings a fundamental positive change in their situation. By supporting poor families to develop hope you make them realise their potentials which makes them put up their heads and see the future is a key for sustainable development. Moreover, when the poorest of the poor feel they are valued, they develop self-confidence and do all possible to change their situation.”

How do you compare SAC Ethiopia now and when you first started work for it?

“When I first started to work for SAC Ethiopia it was a small NGO without confidence and without clear direction to take. Nobody from outside knew who we were and what we were doing. But now, with the huge confidence we have developed based experiences, lessons learned, and has a clear direction, a strategic plan. We are making a huge impact in the lives of communities that we are working with and despite tight resources, we are mobilising for growth so we can work across more regions and deliver even deeper impacts.”

What makes you happy, sad or hope?

“People realizing that they can change their situation with a minimum support -THAT MAKES ME HAPPY, and improved family relationship also makes me HAPPY!

“Resource limitation hinders us from doing enough and that is sad!

“I hope that the good work of SAC Ethiopia will be replicated by the government, other development organisations and the communities themselves.”

Where do you see SAC Ethiopia 10 years from now?

“I expect us to have a much larger geographic coverage - working in 7/9 regions of the country.

“SAC Ethiopia will be impacting on millions of people(with improved meals, nutrition, income, schooling, hygiene and sanitation, business development, natural resources management, gender equality.

"We will be a charity respected by the government and people of Ethiopia.”