Cows in and around the village of Castleton in the Hope Valley of Derbyshire may be a common sight – and it may be that which – led by Castleton Methodist Church – has turned into a community project which has seen two cows being purchased in Rwanda in the recent weeks. These have been named Castleton and Peveril.
‘Peveril’ will go into a Reconciliation scheme already running in the Nyamasheke District of Rwanda – one of the poorest regions – whereby a cow is gifted to a Hutu who, during the 1994 Genocide, risked his/her own life to shelter a Tutsi neighbour. The cow is put into a breeding scheme and the first-born calf goes to the Tutsi who was sheltered – with subsequent calves going first to a Hutu, then to a Tutsi, then to a Hutu etc, etc. – showing a sure sign of reconciliation in this once fragmented community.
‘Castleton’ will be homed right across the other side of the country in the Northern Province of Rwanda in another poor area. She will be gifted to Jenda Primary School, where her milk will go to undernourished pupils of the school, her manure will be used to fertilize and create a school garden for crop growing, and calves produced can create a small herd and/or be sold to bring in income for the school. This is such a valuable gift. (Peveril pic)
At least two of the Castleton community who have supported these projects have signed up for the 2018 visit to Rwanda when they will meet those who are benefiting from the cows. What a celebration that will be! – and we are hopeful that a visit from one of our Rwandan partners – Ephaste Niyigena – in April might encourage more to join these two, as Ephaste will visit Castleton and give a first-hand account of how life-changing their gifts will be to his fellow countrymen.
Hearing this story has encouraged another supporter of the Trust to purchase a cow – and we are currently awaiting news from our partners as to where this will be best placed/needed – and this donor – Peter Welch – has also signed up to join our 2018 group. Being a small charity we are able to make these gifts personal and introduce the donor to the recipient in each case – which is great to be able to do.