From 1 April – 30 June last year, many of you donated, fundraised for and supported Send a Cow’s Break…Fast appeal to help give poor rural families the best start in life. The appeal raised over £757,466 which was doubled by the UK Government raising £1,504,056. It was an incredible feat and a testament to the generosity of our supporters. Now, over one year on, we are seeing how those who have benefitted from the appeal are turning their lives around. Aggrey Nshekanabo, Fundraising & Communications Officer in Uganda, visits one of them…

About Sarah

60 year old Sarah Namukasa giggles like a little girl of 8. Much of her teeth are completely gone save for one visible lower incisor tooth and her cheeks are sunken and constantly draw in and out as though sucking on something. She lives in Kayunga district, north east of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, with the six grandchildren she cares for singlehandedly, aged between 5 and 14. 

Sarah was widowed 20 years ago when her children were teenagers. She struggled to provide for them and they dropped out of school because she could not raise the school fees. They eventually abandoned her and went to Kampala city in the hope of a better life. She also had to battle her late husband’s relatives who wanted to sell off the land. They wanted to send her back to her parents, after all, she was no longer staying with the children but she stood her ground and warded them off.

She is quick to show us around her home and tell us of her achievements.

''...I will not fail my grandchildren''

''Since Send a Cow came to our home, you can see the changes. I think this is going to be the first season when we shall harvest enough food. I expect to harvest three bags of shelled maize. Just one bag of maize is enough to take us to the next harvest season. I will sell the rest to get school fees. One of my grandsons, Ntale is sitting his Primary seven this year. It will be the first time in my life to clear school fees on the first day of the school. And I will do it,” Sarah asserts.

“You see, all my children left me for the city. The only thing they do, is when they produce children, they come pretending to have come to visit me and leave behind their children with me. I do not have a phone to contact them. They never come back to check on their children…

“I struggled to feed my own children. Maybe that is why I lost them to the city. I do not want my grandchildren to run away because there is not enough food. It was so stressful. I had the land but no knowledge to utilise it for our own food.

“And now with Send a Cow, I feel stronger. I am now a knowledgeable woman. It has been a great year of big changes. See, I now have a better dish rack with three stances, I have constructed the energy saving Lorena stove. We have eaten vegetables of all types and if they were to talk, they would talk in our tummies.

‘‘The children no longer fall sick as it were before. And now that I am among those to receive a cow, just wait, I will touch my dreams. I failed to care for my children but I will not fail with my grandchildren. What I did not give my children, I will give it to my grandchildren.’’

Until next time...

As I was touring her home, Sarah implored me: “Please come visit again when I get the cow. You will see a new home. I will plaster the house to cover the naked bricks of the house. I will also buy gutters to harvest water. My teeth will grow again and I will smile widely for you.” We all laugh at the joke. And we hope to return to her home soon.