Maria is an average cow. In fact, by American cattle standards, she could even be considered a bit skinny. But, to the children at one school in Rwanda, Maria is a living miracle.
When this school first began in 2008, it was little more than a few buildings in a field. It quickly grew, however, from 45 students to more than 900 — mostly kids who came from low-income families and wouldn’t be able to afford to go to school otherwise.
Unfortunately, there was still one obstacle standing between these children and a good education: poor nutrition.
The young school was often unable to provide complete and healthy meals for the students. Some of the boys and girls would have to leave at lunchtime and try to find something to eat at home. If their cupboards were bare at home, too, they wouldn’t always come back to school after lunchtime. The walk was too far to make four times a day — especially on an empty stomach.
Other students stayed at school and simply didn’t eat. As their stomachs growled throughout the afternoon, it became harder and harder for them to focus on the lessons and learn.
The founder of the school got an idea. What they needed was a cow.
The founder’s own father had been a cattle farmer, so he knew how beneficial a cow could be for a family — or a school — in poverty. The only problem was that the school couldn’t afford one.
It was all thanks to generous donors when Maria, the school’s very first dairy cow, arrived on campus.
Soon, many of the students were enjoying Maria’s nutrient-rich milk. But milk wasn’t the only gift that Maria gave them.
Over the past eight years, Maria has given birth to eight calves. Since each dairy cow can produce more than six gallons of milk per day, Maria, along with her offspring, provide the milk for all 900 students, as well as the staff!
This milk is often used to make a hearty porridge which is served for breakfast and that helps keep the children full so they can concentrate throughout the school day.
Several of Maria’s calves were also sold so the school could have more income to provide other essentials for its students.
The children are so grateful to Maria and all she has done for the school that they often refer to her as “Maria, the Miracle Cow.”
The calcium from Maria’s milk ensures the children have strong bones and teeth … the protein gives them plenty of energy … and the vitamins keep the children’s immune systems strong. That means fewer sick days and more time spent in the classroom!
Just one cow made an incredible impact in this community.
A cow is a life-changing gift for a needy family — or school — since it continuously gives back to its owners like Maria did. And it’s a life-changing gift that YOU can give!
For $100, you can provide one share of a cow, pitching in with others to provide a person with his or her own cow.
Not only can a farmer use the cow’s milk to feed his family, but the milk and cheese can be sold for additional income for the household. Plus, the animal’s fertilizer can help the growth of local gardens.
You may feel like you’re just providing a cow, but to the person who receives it, it’s a miracle.