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Michael Palin's BBC Radio 4 Appeal

Farm Africa patron Sir Michael Palin

Farm Africa patron Michael Palin presented the BBC Radio 4 Appeal for Farm Africa on Sunday 13 December 2020. Enormous thanks to everyone who has donated to the appeal. So far, you've given an incredible £52,000. Every pound is hugely appreciated and will help change the lives of farming families living in eastern Africa. You can listen online at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000q9cd.   

The appeal shares the story of Theresa and Longole, mums living in the remote Karamoja region of Uganda who are rearing goats with support from Farm Africa.  

Please donate today. £60 could help provide two goats to another mum in need >

Farm Africa

Goats given to women by Farm Africa in Karamoja, Uganda.

Farm Africa fights poverty and hunger in eastern Africa by helping farmers grow their incomes in an environmentally sustainable way. We help farmers to boost yields, gain access to markets, protect natural resources and build their resilience to climate change.

Theresa's story

Theresa (left) giving a goat to Longole (right)

As a maize farmer in Karamoja in rural Uganda, Theresa (left) lived at the mercy of an unpredictable climate. Heavy rains and high winds sometimes devastated the crops, leaving her with no food and no income. When money was tight and school fees were due, Theresa faced the heart-breaking choice of which of her children to send to school.

Goat power

Longole with two goat kids

Thanks to the support of Farm Africa, there is hope for Theresa’s family, in the form of goats. We've given Theresa two goats and taught her how to look after them, build a herd and make money from dairy products.

The goats provide nutritious milk for Theresa’s children as well as money for school fees, which is great news for Theresa, who desperately wants all her kids to go to school. She told us: "Education is the key to everything. If you don’t send your children to school, you do nothing in this life."

When Theresa received two goats from Farm Africa, she agreed to pass on two goat kids to Longole (above), another local mum, once her herd had grown. It’s a chain reaction of support. Theresa told us: "I am happy because the mother goats will stay with me. I am happy to share the kids with somebody else."

Longole, in turn, was excited about the difference income from goat rearing will make to her young family. She commented that her kids, aged two, four and eight "were so happy that Mummy was going to bring home goats."

Like Theresa, Longole's top priority is to earn enough from her goats to send her children to school. She said: "My dreams for my children are that they get educated.”

Longole's family is planning to name the goats after Farm Africa. "The one who produces first will be called Farm and the other one Africa."

A brighter future

Regina with her twin baby girls.

Farm Africa’s work continues despite COVID-19. With your support, we can help more farmers like Theresa, Longole and Regina (above) to look forward to a brighter future during this global crisis.

Regina commented: "My nine-month old twin girls have been drinking the goats’ milk for three months now. They love it. They will be able to get enough milk from me and the goats, which means they will be able to grow up strong and healthy.”

Please, make a donation today. Just £60 could help provide two goats to another mother in need >

I’ve supported Farm Africa for 20 years now, and what I liked then and what I still like now is that Farm Africa do not impose solutions on people.

Michael Palin

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Photos: Panos Pictures / Chris de Bode for Farm Africa