Cows for Cambodia Project of Unley Lions Club
Cosi and one of his Cambodian cows Cambodian boys with calf and roadside feed.
We bought a COW
No we didn’t buy a Jeep – we bought a cow. The Lions Club of Unley in South Australia is the proud owner of a cow, even if only for a short time.
Every South Australian is familiar with Andrew “Cosi” Costello and his weekly television program, South Aussie with Cosi, extolling the tourism and business highlights of the state of South Australia. Unley Lions are proud supporters of Cosi and his projects.
Lesser known to many is the fact that Cosi has, for more than three years now, visited Cambodia three times a year. Briefly, Cambodia was ravaged under the brutality of the Pol Pot regime with a third of the population killed. Sixty percent don’t have clean drinking water and one third of the population lives below the poverty line. Infant mortality is 14 times higher than western countries.
Fortunately Cosi has a reason for his trips to Cambodia with his campaign “Cows for Cambodia”. Cosi says, “I’m not a believer in handouts but I do believe in giving a leg up and the best way to fight poverty is to help people help themselves”.
Cows for Cambodia is a program whereby a pregnant cow is loaned to a family living in poverty that has the capacity to nurture the animal. After the cow gives birth the family keeps the calf and the cow becomes pregnant and loaned to another family. From there the family can grow their herd. There is a contract between Cosi’s campaign and the owner, usually the senior female of the family. This is empowering to the family and especially for the women. On his repeat trips Cosi inspects the newborn calf, gives the necessary vaccinations and tags the calf. The cow purchased by the Lions Club of Unley cost the club approximately AUD$850 which is a very modest outlay for such a return which will continue for many years to come.
Cosi’s goal is to own 1000 cows in calf production in the next four years. The additional cows will be purchased in Australia and shipped free of charge to Cambodia. This will result in more than a million dollars’ worth of calves being donated to the country every year.
And every time Cosi is in Cambodia he puts out a call on his Facebook. His followers can then donate thirty dollars to buy a 50Kg bag of rice. Within an hour or so the rice is purchased, donor’s details and a message written on and delivered to a very needy family. A photo is taken with the family and posted back on Facebook. You really know where your donation is going – in quicktime!! You can even join him on his visits but that’s a whole new story. Details can be found on his website at www.cowsforcambodia.com.au
In the short term Unley Lions owns a mooing, chewing, pooing four legged beast. Personally, I prefer mine medium rare.
Writing a goodwill message Bag of rice with a message from its donor
For further information:
Unley Lions: Peter Roberts 0419 828 640
Andrew “Cosi” Costello 0408 697 669
Pictures : Courtesy “Cows for Cambodia” campaign