A farmer from Co. Westmeath, took off on a massive trip, to be reunited with a cow donated by his family over a decade beforehand, as reported by irishmirror,ie.
The farmer, Colm Doyle, hails from Moate in Co Westmeath and embarked on the trip from his home to Rwanda in Africa. He made the trip to visit a cow his father had donated 11 years previously in a charitable deed.
The heifer, donated by Colm’s father Jimmy, sent along with a big consignment of other breeding heifers, as part of charity mission by Bóthar. The animals were sent to provide for the poor families in Rwanda and other parts of the African continent.
The cows are impregnated yearly by Bóthar, so that families have a fresh supply of milk, from which to produce food. As part of the arrangement, the first born female calf must be given to a neighbour, so that eventually everybody has a cow.
The families are each given a 6-month training programme, to prepare them for caring for the animals and teaching the basics of horticulture and water harvesting practices.
The Trip and meeting the family:
Colm took the trip to see the impact by his father’s donation and to visit the family who had received the heifer. He also took time out to visit the heifer herself, meaning they were reunited after 11years.
“It was quite an experience, seeing the heifer and all she’s done here after her nine or 10 years. She’s had nine calves, five female and four male.” he said.
"Her first female calf would have been passed on so there’s another family obviously somewhere down the road who are benefiting from the initial gift as well. “ Colm added.
"That heifer, too, would have most likely had a female calf and that would have been passed on. So the gift keeps on giving." he continued.
Colm paid tribute to the farmer, commenting that the cow was treated well and in fantastic condition.
“It’s obvious that the farmer is really treating her well. She’s in fantastic condition. She’s 12 years old at this stage, in fine fettle and there’s no reason why she can’t continue.” he said.
“You couldn’t but be content and happy that you gave the donation and it has to make you want to do more in the future. I think my father would be very proud.” Colm added.
The Rwandan farmer, Mpayimana Johanna, who received the heifer, spoke of his delight at being able to speak to the man who gave his family the “greatest gift ever”.
“When the cow came in 2008 the first thing for us was the milk for consumption and the second thing was I could buy a motorcycle to transport milk.” said Mpayimana Johanna through an interpreter.
"The third thing was I could buy land. I even had money for the school fees for the children,”he said.
“When I look at my cow I am very happy because the cow is healthy and even has more milk. It’s the greatest gift ever. No one could understand what this has done for my family and I am so thankful to the people who gave us this gift." he concluded.