About Send a Cow

How we work

We've changed a lot since 1988. We no longer send cows from the UK, we source them locally. In fact, providing livestock is just a tiny part of what we do.

We don’t ask communities what they need – we ask what they’ve got. We help them identify and value resources they already have: their land, their families, their communities and capacities. Together, communities build a vision of a better future.

Then, through training in farming, and by tackling social issues such as gender inequality, we enable them to acquire both the hope and the skills to get there. We are well known for delivering distinctive programmes that blend gender equality and social development training, alongside farming systems and business development.

Who we work with

100% are smallholder farmers.

Families who can learn to grow nutritious crops from their own land.  

65% are female

Research has shown that women are more likely to invest income into their family‘s future.

50% are widows

We work with some of the most vulnerable people in Africa.

Many are disabled or have HIV/Aids

Our work ensures no one is left behind.

The three pillars to our work

Gender and social inclusion
Farming the land
Business skills

Our local staff in Africa help families develop a shared vision for their home. Women in particular are supported to raise their aspirations beyond subsistence farming. We help husbands and wives work out how best to share the workload and decision-making to achieve their vision. Families become more harmonious and prosperous, and children grow up happier, better educated and with wider horizons.

In three out of four households, women and men are now equal partners in making decisions about how to use the family's land, and how to share the workloads.*

We help farmers understand and map out the resources available to them within their community. Then we teach them the organic agricultural principles and skills they need to integrate these into a sustainable, biodiverse farm – without expensive artificial fertilisers or GM seeds.

Techniques such as water harvesting, composting, vegetable growing, tree planting and animal husbandry are easily adaptable to each farmer’s own land and needs. As farmers start producing enough food to feed their families and sell a surplus, their confidence and self-esteem are boosted.

97% of farmers believe they can provide enough food and income for their families' needs from their farms.*

Once families are eating well and earning enough to send their children to school, we encourage them to think bigger. They learn money management and enterprise skills so they can access savings and credit services. They discover how best to add value to their produce, and how to store it.

They even group together into cooperatives, allowing access to more training, better infrastructure, and more reliable markets. They become resilient entrepreneurs, capable of making choices and in charge of their own futures.

By selling surplus farm produce, families' income increases six-fold.*

*Data from Our impact