News Flash – Friesian Cows Arrive in Burundi!

Friesian Cows Arriving

Fifteen new Friesian cows arrived in the village of Ryarusera, Burundi recently, imported from Tanzania, some purchased by Hope for Tomorrow Global, thanks to many generous donations and fundraising initiatives.

These cows will help to change the lives of the families who receive them, so it’s little wonder there was such excitement in Ryarusera when word got out that the cows were on their way. A crowd gathered, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the truck. Finally, after the new cow owners had been reminded again about how to care for their new arrivals, it was time for each family to ‘find’ their cow. After the cows had been let off the truck and had had a good drink and munch on the grass, numbers were given out randomly which matched the tags on the cows ears and ‘the chase’ began!

The chase is a fun event where the new owner finds their cow amongst the grazing cattle and ties it up to take it home – not quite as easy as it sounds! There is such a sense of celebration as cows meet owners and head back to their small homesteads. For the new owners, the cows represent hope of change. Life will be very diffent from now on!

All the cows we import are in good health and arrive pregnant – a great way of doubling the benefits of these ‘udderly amazing‘ creatures! A vet is paid to visit the animals regularly to check on them and can also be called out if they become unwell, of it assistance is needed when they give birth. The number of cows in Rsaryusera now stands at over 400 and a breeding programme is underway.

There is a change in atmosphere in the area now as people can see there is a way  out of poverty. These cows provide a way for dignity to be restored. In a recent famine in the area, the only families who didn’t need assistance were those with friesian cows. This was a powerful demonstration of the benefits of these friesian cows and has increased the desire of other families to have one. There is now a long waiting list!

If you would like to help a family buy a cow or get involved in fundraising, click here for more details.

Udderly Amazing!

It’s ‘Udderly Amazing!’ that a family can be lifted out of poverty in a matter of weeks, just by owning the right kind of cow!

Many families have already experienced how owning a Friesian cow has changed their lives entirely. A mother of 5 children recently explained that before they owned a cow they were so poor they couldn’t even feed the children each day. They were very weak and vulnerable to disease and didn’t attend school as they couldn’t afford the fees. They had no hope of anything ever changing. However, within weeks of receiving the cow and getting an income from the sale of its milk, the family was able to buy food so the children ate every day, gained strength and with money left over, they also started attending school. The teenagers are now planning to go to university – udderly amazing!

Many other families in the rural village of Ryarusera in Burundi have also experienced their lives radically changing  through owning a Frieisian cow. These cows, which have been introduced to the village by Burundian man, Evariste Ndayiruke, have provided them with both a source of income and nutrition. Unlike the traditional long-horned ankole cattle which only produce a maximum of 2 litres a day of milk, the Frieisians provide 10 – 15 litres a day.

The Friesians are milked twice a day. The morning milk is taken to a collection point and is then take to the city to be pasteurised and sold. The family receives a good price for each litre of milk, meaning these cows are generating a good income for the family, which then enables them to buy food, pay school fees and medical bills and also leaves them with some cash for other items like soap, cooking and clothes. The evening milk is kept and drunk by the family, providing a valuable source of nutrition. In a country where there are high rates of chronic malnutrition, especially among the children, this is of critical importance.

Not only does the family benefit hugely from this regular income and the nutrition, but the environment benefits too. The Frieisians are kept in pens and just come out once a day to get some exercise. This means the land is beginning to heal from decades of overgrazing by the traditional cattle.

The manure of the Frieisians can easily be collected as it’s contained within their pens and so is used to increase the yields of the crops. So these Friesian cows really do have an ‘udderly amazing’ effect!

Also, because the Frieisians aren’t left to roam freely, no-one needs to follow them around all day. Children can attend school instead of keeping track of the cows and adults can use their time to farm or for other pursuits which can help improve their income and quality of life.

Most families aren’t in a position to buy a cow initially and Hope for Tomorrow Global has been helping to purchase and import cows. Just recently 15 more arrived from Tanzania.  Each family aims to repay the cost of the cows from their profits over several years, at a rate they can afford and with no interest on the loan. These funds are then used to purchase further cows so that other families can benefit from these ‘udderly amazing’ creatures.

If you’d like to help raise funds for a cow, or would like to buy a cow for a family or make a donation towards one, visit Funds for Friesians for details and help expand this ‘udderly amazing’ initiative!