Thank you, All Saints!
In 2015, All Saints by the Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito, CA, donated $3,000 to buy three full-grown, pregnant cows for the Abakundana (Those Who Love Each Other) Pygmy Cooperative in Southwest Rwanda. They named the cows Grace, Betsy, and Holy Cow. These were the first cows the Pygmies ever had, and they are flourishing in the gentle care of these extraordinary people.
In 2016, All Saints donated three more cows, this time for Imbereheza (Better Future), a cooperative in Eastern Rwanda made up of formerly warring Tutsi, Hutu, and Pygmies who are now dedicated to living in peace together. The cows will provide fertilizer to improve crop production, and milk – which these people have never had before. The cows will change the lives of every co-op member forever, and will be cherished by the community.
The community cleverly named the cows All, Saint, and Sea. You’ll see in the video their eloquent explanation of how these names connect their communities and ours. In the video you’ll also see wonderful dancing. Inspired by World Dance, the co-op has started Itorero Nyarwanda, a traditional dance group that is earning money for the community by performing at weddings.
“For me, having a cow means a job for myself and my family – to take good care of this beautiful animal, focusing on production which gives us milk and fertilizer. I don’t know how I can thank our donors enough. I think we can call you, ‘the rain in the wilderness.’ Even the babies we carry on our backs will testify about your kindness and love. No matter how many years it will take, we will reach our dream to have a cow for each member of Co-op. Now we have a big hope for our future and have already made a huge progress.”
“Thank you so much All Saints by Sea for this wonderful gift of cows. We don’t take this for granted, and we will try our best to make everything you donate so productive for our communities. We are so much blessed to have World Dance to lead us into a bright future. We students are learning a lot from our sponsors, and are creating our jobs as future leaders of our cooperatives. We thank you so much for giving us the right foundation upon which we will build sustainable and strong communities.”
“I am very thankful to God for having chosen us to be looked after by generous donors like you. We have been blessed ever since we connected with you. You are so important people in our lives. You brought us hope which gives us much energy to work hard for our better future. You have given women like me something to do as a job: to prepare our future and play a big role in changing our communities. Words alone will not tell you what I feel about you. We love you so much, our World Dance friends.”