OVER the last 20 years since its foundation, Bóthar has sent more than 4,550 Irish dairy heifers to the developing world, each transforming the lives of the recipient family.
Because each family passes on the first female calf to another family, Bóthar estimates that a further 15,000 ‘pass-on’ heifers have enriched the lives of families formerly living in poverty. Each Irish heifer typically yields up to 20 times the milk yield of local breeds.
Bóthar’s work has expanded to include working with more than sixteen different animal species to more than 35 countries, together with training in animal husbandry and sustainable farming.
“Bóthar is a tremendous Irish success story that combines a simple idea, the farming skills of families in the developing world, and the generosity of Irish supporters” said Peter Ireton, Bóthar’s founding Chief Executive. “In our 20th anniversary year, I hope new supporters will discover and learn about this great project, and old supporters will renew and deepen their support.”
Bóthar began with a project to send as many Irish dairy cows to Africa as possible in the year 1991 as part of the civic events to mark the tercentenary of the signing of the Treaty of Limerick. The first airlift of 20 in-calf dairy heifers left Shannon Airport for Uganda that year, and this simple and powerful idea of sending livestock to support families in developing countries rapidly gained widespread support.
In support of its anniversary fundraising goal, Bóthar will hold a number of events and challenges.
In 2011 Bóthar will be asking the people of Ireland to help establish more families in livestock farming during 2011 than in any other year since the organisation was founded.
Bothar will run a national competition for supporters to find an Irish cow to be the “Face of Bóthar”, with the winning supporter offered the chance to visit a Bóthar project in action.
The organisation will r elease an Anniversary Report on Bóthar’s activities and impact, will launch a new advertising campaign and website, will hold the Climb Kilimanjaro challenge with a celebrity trekker and will offer a new programme for schools including an open day and a web microsite.
Bothar will also hold Rugby Rocks Fashion events in Dublin, Limerick and Belfast while Golfwithstars.com will take place again this year offering supporters the opportunity to play a round of golf in the legendary K Club with an Irish celebrity.
A number of Bóthar paintballs will be taking place all over the country. A Paintball is a gala ball where prominent local people are asked to do a special painting that Bóthar can auction at the event.
There will be a fundraising horse trek and study tour in India plus hosts of other events taking place through out the year.