Send a Cow was delighted to hold a special evening with Riverford Farms Founder, Guy Watson and Country Director of Lesotho, Manthethe Monethi to discuss the power of smallholding farmers in Africa and the benefits of charity/corporate partnerships. Based on the theme of ‘Small is Beautiful,’ over 70 guests attended to learn more...

Entrepreneurial Zeal

Speaking from his own experience as a farmer, businessman and Send a Cow Patron, Guy Watson gave a striking speech about why he supports Send a Cow and the potential of rural Africa: “Entrepreneurial zeal and drive is absolutely there in Africa. People won’t need our help for long. All they need is a bit of a hand up, not a hand out…handouts are not a good idea but give people half a chance and they will help themselves and that is what I absolutely saw Send a Cow achieving…’

He also spoke favourably about Riverford’s four year partnership with Send a Cow which has raised over £100,000, and urged other business leaders to consider the advantages of charity partnerships:

I employ 600 people and becoming a destination employee where people really want to work is incredibly important especially with the new generation who tend to be quite idealistic and want to feel they are contributing to the world…working with Send a Cow has worked really well for Riverford and a lot of our staff really identify with the work that we do.

Riverford Partnership

Riverford and Send a Cow have a longstanding relationship based on shared values and aims. Like Send a Cow, Riverford believes in the importance of sustainable farming which has the ability to produce healthy food, lives and communities.

Riverford has already donated £75,000 to support Send a Cow’s Going Organic project in Northern Uganda, transforming the lives of a rural community by helping them to produce sustainably. Inspired by the difference their support was making, Riverford set themselves a new target in July 2015 of raising £100,000 by June 2016 - a target which they have already exceeded with 6 months of fundraising still to go.

Guy Watson visited the project in March last year and was stunned by the results. Once a cynic of international development organisations, Guy visited Send a Cow farms and was inspired by the charity's highly effective ‘‘ground-up approach’’.

Lesotho

Manthethe Monethi, Send a Cow’s Country Director of Lesotho, also spoke passionately at the event about the charity’s work with poor smallholder farmers as well as the challenges that they face in her country. Lesotho is a small, mountainous landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa. It recently declared a state of emergency after experiencing a drought which the World Food Programme warns could leave hundreds of thousands of people reliant on food aid in the coming year. She said:

Many people don’t even know where Lesotho is… It is characterised by high levels of poverty and due to the topography of the country, we have a lack of good arable land. We have drought and at the end of drought we have torrent rains  which strip off fertile soil…lots of people depend on aid.

She went on to describe Send a Cow’s work with 3,500 households in Lesotho and told the story of 49-year-old farmer, Mamoeleli Shea who, with Send a Cow training, has transformed her life. After years living in extreme poverty, Mamoeleli now has a smallholding which produces enough vegetables to feed her family and provide an income. Despite the drought, Mamoeleli’s land is flourishing – a testament to the training and support that Send a Cow provides.

If you own or work for a company and would like to understand more about the work of Send a Cow and how a partnership could benefit your business please get in touch with Sophie in Send a Cow’s Partnership Team on 01225 876916 or email sophie.porfirio@sendacow.org.