Got cows? Get milk, biogas and a lot more.

Peter with his cow

This story is brought to you by the hard-working people of Bufukhula, Uganda. With a special thanks going to their creativity and their cows.

Bufukhula has graduated from Food for the Hungry (FH) programs after years of partnership with child sponsors and donors from FH/Canada. Graduation means the community has proven it can raise healthy children without FH’s financial support. And a part of their success is from a bovine creature we might take for granted…the cow.

Part of being healthy in Bufukhula’s culture means consuming dairy products for protein. FH provided 184 families with shared milk cows and trained parents on how to care for their livestock.

This is what one of the fathers, Peter, had to say:

“Before FH came to our village, I used to think that rearing an exotic heifer was only for the rich. I had never dreamt of owning any.”  (By the way, an “exotic” cow just means, it was a non-local variety bred especially to stay healthy and give lots of milk.)

The surprising cow

How did cows improve life for the people of Bufukhula? The cows gave milk. Their kids drank milk and thrived. The parents made cheese and sold dairy products. Then, they bought more cows. The specter of hunger was vanquished.

End of story right?

Not yet.

Where others might have sensed smelly cowpies and reacted with unmentionable words, Peter saw potential.

“Today, I am the first and the only dairy farmer to own the biogas facility, which has helped me with cooking and lighting in my home,” Peter says.

From a product that we would say stinks, Peter is lighting his house and cooking.

Gas tubes connected to stove, with a pot cooking on the stove

Peter shows how his gas system, connected to a stove, can be used for cooking or boiling water so it's safer to drink.

Running a stove on biogas means, no burning trees for fuel. It means fewer girls and women risking rape or their lives to look for scarce kindling in places far from home. It means kids can study around the kitchen table at night to do better schoolwork and stay in school. And the whole family eats well and grows into the life God intended for them.

The many uses of manure

But that’s not all — Peter is also growing bananas as a cash crop fertilized by, you guessed it, cow manure. And his community has gifted a town down the road, where FH has just started working, with their very own heifers (and even more manure!).

Who knew cow manure could be so helpful?

This is just one example of how your partnership is helping to change lives in ways you probably couldn’t have imagined. FH looks for efficient ways to stretch your dollars, maximize impact and help families overcome poverty. By partnering with the impoverished people, like Peter, to find solutions to their problems–great change is happening. Please join us in our exploration of creative solutions to end poverty all over the world!

About Beth Allen

I'm a self-professed sustainable development geek who would have a very hard time picking a favorite country. That means, I love every tribe and nation and take great joy in seeing how God is working in the world. I've been with FH for nearly two decades, and started out by serving with them in the Bolivian Andes. I can't live without Jesus and coffee, but the coffee is mostly decaf so the power is from Jesus.

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