Children from an Inishowen school were this week celebrating after surpassing their target to raise almost 2,000 euro to send an Irish cow to a family in Africa.
The children and staff at Cloontagh National School in Clonmany said they were delighted to have raised enough to purchase and transport the dairy cow.
Aided by teaching staff and parents, the children swung into action over the Lenten period to try and raise the money needed.
The innovative project was sparked after Cloontagh Principal, Eibhlin McCracken received notification in the post of a project being run by Limerick-based charity Bóthar.
Bóthar has projects to help impoverished communities in 20 countries across the world. One of these involves transporting dairy cows located in Ireland to impoverished countries in Africa to give families there a chance at a better future.
The families are given assistance before and after the animal arrives, and they must agree to pass on the first female calf born of their cow to another selected family.
The 26 pupils from 5th and 6th Year spearheaded the fundraising effort with a little help from their 98 fellow pupils at the school.
The children ran competitions and staged a bring and buy sale at the school.
They also sold their own charity paper, featuring local information and stories, at the school and the local Post Office.
Cloontagh teacher, Marie Doherty said the school community was overjoyed to have hit the target.
Praising the children, she said: “They did a fantastic job and they were chuffed to bits themselves after we finished counting it. They were just delighted.
“We genuinely didn’t think we would ever get it and most of this was raised by the children. During the community sale alone we had raised over 400 euro and the children had made cards, bookmarks for that and sold the toys they no longer played with and books.”
Mrs Doherty added that the cheque would be posted off to Bóthar within days and the cow would be on its way to Africa in the next few weeks.
Initially, the school had intended to send a goat, which costs 300 euro, but the children really wanted to send a cow, which costs 1,800 euro.
The cows are sent from Ireland because Irish cows will give a lot more milk than others from Africa.