Let your garden grow their future

ByDave Hall

Let your garden grow their future

Proud of your garden? Why not twin it with an African family’s life-saving allotment?

It’s a new initiative from Ripple Effect, recently renamed from Send a Cow, a charity started in 1988 when Christian farmers answered an appeal from Ugandans desperately short of nutritious food after a long civil war. The original vision was simple and practical: sending cows to Ugandan families whose livestock had been lost. But that simple project has blossomed, enabling determined families to learn how to grow enough food on a small plot of land, to feed their family and also provide enough to sell for other necessities.

It has now grown beyond Uganda to five other African countries – Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and Zambia.

Ann Hatton, Ripple Effect’s church development executive, said: ‘We are a farming expertise charity, teaching smallholder farmers – most of them women – how to improve the productivity of their land so they can provide for their families. Our training work has evolved and starts with essential social development, tackling the sharing of work and responsibilities within families. We also cover health and safety issues, including how to deal with Covid-19.’

Renamed Ripple Effect this year, the organisation no longer sends cows to Africa – whatever livestock is placed is sourced locally. But UK Christians are now invited to twin their garden and plant hope for a family in Migori, in Kenya. A £60 donation provides three years’ training in sustainable organic farming. From a small kitchen garden, families develop business skills to build a future with wider opportunities.

Donors get the pleasure of helping to give a new start to a family in rural Kenya and also receive a wooden plaque to mount in their own garden – a vegetable-growing guide from no-dig expert Charles Dowding.

‘Some wildflower seeds also give you a colourful annual reminder of the practical support you have given to others,’ said Ann. Click here to find out more of the project.

‘We were so thrilled to be at CRE South West in February and meet old friends and make many new ones,’ said Ann. ‘As a result, many families in Kenya will get the skills and support they need to change their lives.’

• Ripple Effect (formerly Send a Cow) are on stand F8 at CRE National 2022

Book your tickets to CRE National 2022 – and save up to £5

About the author

Dave Hall author