Last November, Bóthar received a special donation of an in-calf Friesian heifer by a group of Islandeady farmers. They were contributing to Bóthar’s heifer collection that was destined for Albania.
Albania is a developing country and lies in the Balkan Peninsula. It is the third poorest country in Europe. The need there is great as the country is still experiencing the effects of the Kosovo war.
Islandeady farmers William Feeney, Padraic Joyce, Joe Moylette, Henry Sammon and Patrick Sweeney, came together to answer Bóthar’s plea and kindly sponsored the heifer. The in-calf Friesian heifer was selected and purchased by the farmers from a herd in south Mayo. The heifer is due to calf in March and is assured to have a female calf, which will be passed on to another Albanian family.
Pat Mullins, Bóthar, stated: “Bóthar is working with Albanian families who have been preparing to receive their life-saving gifts for months. They are bursting with excitement because of the possibilities that these animals will bring them. The impact is just incredible. We are very thankful to all our donors and supporters and of course to the farmers from Islandeady, for doing such a great job in preparing the cows for their new homes.
"Each Irish dairy cow will be given to a struggling family that has already received training in livestock care. The families that take part in the Bóthar programme must agree to pass on the first female offspring from their animal to another family and so, the effect of the donation is multiplied over and over. This system is an integral and essential part of all Bóthar animal projects.
"Receiving the gift of an Irish dairy cow is like receiving the keys to a successful business. It is especially important for families living in rural communities who have little chance at gaining alternative employment in their local area."