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£2000 Raised for Planting Hope

 Send a cow - planting hope

Fundraising for Send A Cow - Planting Hope


During November and December 2015, Mole Valley Farmers fundraised for Send a Cow, the international development charity that provides some of Africa’s poorest people with training, tools, seeds and livestock to lift them out of poverty. 

One of the main activities was the creation of four keyhole gardens as part of Send a Cow’s ‘Planting Hope’ appeal These were created with children from local schools - Bishops Nympton Primary (at South Molton), Clawton Primary (Holsworthy), St Michael’s Academy (Yeovil) and St Andrew’s Primary (Cullompton). The gardens were displayed at the relevant Mole Valley Farmers stores for a month, before being transported to each school as a permanent feature to promote continued learning in organic growing, food production, health, the environment and sustainability. 

Keyhole gardens are central to African subsistence farming and their unique shape helps to maximise produce from a small plot of land. In the centre of the keyhole shaped garden lies a composting basket allowing moisture and nutrients to seep into the surrounding soil. By utilising existing materials, the gardens are cheap to build and are often a family’s first step away from hunger and poverty.

The keyhole gardens, coupled with fundraising across stores, enabled Mole Valley Farmers to raise £2,000 for Send a Cow’s Planting Hope Appeal which will be doubled by the UK government to £4,000.

Gavin Scandrett from Bishops Nympton Primary said:

 “Many, many thanks for the delivery of our keyhole garden materials.  An especially big thank you to Adam, Jonathon and Ross from the South Molton Mole Valley store, who carried out the transfer with vigour and resilience, battling against wet weather, narrow lanes, stupidly heavy loads of soil and a playground full of excited children! The keyhole garden will be rebuilt on our school grounds.  The School Council have decided that it will be used as a solitary bee garden and are very excited about getting it up and running.  Our newsletters and the school blog have been full of praise for your company’s generosity and helpfulness.  Thank you for the wooden pallets – our next aim is to have raised vegetable beds, bug hotels and a mud kitchen in place this year.”

Mole Valley Farmers has a long history of practical support for farmers in Africa.  In the 1980s it was involved through John James with Bob Geldof’s ground-breaking Band Aid project, and had strong ties with the Send a Cow from the beginning in 1987, when David Bragg, a Mole Valley Farmers member from Crediton, set the charity up with a group of South West based farmers.  Since then Send a Cow has grown into an innovative and professional charity, helping to transform the lives of over 1.3 million people in Africa. Their programmes place equal emphasis on social development, practical farming support and sourcing livestock locally. Families once on the brink of poverty are able to feed themselves, grow businesses that last and create a secure future.

Andy Skarzynski, Head of Marketing explains:

Thanks to the generosity of our Mole Valley Farmers customers and the work of the primary schools we have been able to further the work of Send a Cow with £2,000, which will be doubled by the UK government to £4,000.  We know that every penny donated to Send a Cow has the potential to transform lives and we’re delighted to work with the charity”.

Thanks to supporters and partners like Mole Valley Farmers, Send a Cow’s Planting Hope Appeal exceeded their £1m target and raised an incredible £1.15million which will be doubled by the UK government to fund a new project in Wolayita, southern Ethiopia. Wolayita is a mountainous area 300km from the capital Addis Ababa, where households are dependent on small farms for their livelihoods, but have insufficient food due to poor yields. Families experience chronic food insecurity and hunger for more than five months a year. Starting in July 2016, Send a Cow will use funds from the Planting Hope Appeal to train 5,870 families over three years, giving them the skills and confidence to farm their land, provide a secure and hopeful future.


Source Details

 Susi Atkinson.

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