What a difference a cow makes

Msaada began sending exotic dairy cows (as high-yielding Friesians are known in Africa) to Rwanda in 2013.

The total number of cows sent to date is 150 and these have resulted in about 200 families being lifted out of poverty. This is because the first female calf is passed on to a neighbour to spread the benefit.

It is difficult to overstate the profound impact that an exotic dairy cow can have on an impoverished Rwandan family:

Milk provides protein for the family's diet immediately improving the family's health.

Surplus milk can be sold for up to £3.00 per day, lifting the family well above the UN defined poverty line of about £1.20.

Manure from the cow is used to increase crop production and this in turn adds an additional 50p to £1 to the family's income.

Biogas from the manure is used for cooking and lighting in the home, which means no more cooking on open fires. This significantly reduces respiratory diseases caused by inhaling the fumes from an open fire, which are a major killer in the developing world.

No more trees are cut down thereby protecting the country's dwindling tree resources.

The income enables a family to pay for their own children's school fees, removing the need to rely on charity to fund education.

The family becomes self-sufficient. Independence and dignity are restored.

The first female calf is passed to a neighbour, and this passing on of the gift continues with each pass-on ensuring that the project continues to grow indefinitely.