The Pass it on principle has always been a key part of our programmes. We ask farmers we support to pass on the benefits of our work – so if they have received a cow from us, for example, they will give the first female calf to another family in their community. This is sometimes done in a joyful ceremony, celebrated by the whole community.

This unique approach starts a chain of giving that can grow and grow. And the end result is stronger communities, full of people whose skills, confidence and self-respect have developed enormously. The act of passing on also helps restore farmers’ dignity and pride.

Passing on livestock

Jessica Kabuiso, Uganda Jessica Kabuiso was a member of the Jami Women’s Group in Budaka, Uganda. She passed on her first female calf in 2015:

One thing I loved so much was being told I was a donor. On that day I was happy and singing. It felt good to pass it on. I am in the chain of giving.

Passing on skills and knowledge

Over the years the passing on approach has developed beyond livestock. Now our farmers pass on all sorts of things, from extra seeds and saplings to the skills and knowledge we’ve taught them.

We train some farmers to be ‘peer farmers’, which means they go out to other farmers nearby and help them make the best use of their land.

Alemu Buka, EthiopiaAlemu Buka Birra was a member of the Highland Development Community Project in Ethiopia. His entire group was involved in passing on what they had gained from their work with Send a Cow.

Alemu passed on his skills and knowledge not only to other farmers but also to local school students. And the students were then able to pass on their new skills to their parents.

Alemu’s work has had a tremendous impact and helped his community thrive:

I passed on 20 apple seedlings, three sheep, 10 packages of Artemisia (medicinal plants) and my skills and knowledge gained from Send a Cow to many people in the area. I have been invited to many places by government officials and have given my testimonies and shared my experiences of the journey from abject poverty to a better life.

I plan to train more farmers and professionals in the area of sustainable organic agriculture. I believe my community will overcome poverty and destitution if we work hard.

Alemu has learned so much that he has been able to share his newfound skills and knowledge with Send a Cow staff, too, so they can pass them on to other farmers they work with.

Send a Cow’s pass it on approach helps communities thrive and is a very cost-effective way of working.