The Rwandan Community in France (CRF) has said that Girinka – One Cow per a Poor Family – Programme is an initiative that has proved to be an effective tool for lifting people out of poverty, saying that it is a cause worth the support of every Rwandan, including those in the Diaspora like themselves.

They said this Tuesday, when a delegation of CRF held an interactive session with officials at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), where they donated four cows towards the programme. The cows are valued at Rwf2 million.

“A cow is the basis for economic development starting from a household and has stood out as an effective tool in fighting poverty and bolstering reconciliation among our communities, among the many advantages,” said Théophile Rua, who headed the delegation.

He said that this contribution, its size notwithstanding, was a significant symbol and a sign that more will be done to support the noble cause and other development initiatives by the community he represents.

RAB’s Deputy Director General, Dr. Daphrose Gahakwa, appreciated the Diaspora’s contribution, saying that the four cows donated by the Diaspora is support to the country’s achievement of the Girinka target of distributing 350,000 cows by end of 2017.

It is the third time that the diaspora has offered cows totaling to ten cows in support for Girinka.

Gahakwa said that the first three cows were given to vulnerable families in Bugesera District and the beneficiaries have since passed on heifers to other vulnerable people, which she described as having a multiplier effect in upgrading welfare of the needy.

“We have a gap of about 100,000 cows that we should meet by end of 2017. This year, 2016, we are seeing many contributions to the Programme leading to the achievement of our target,” she said citing PSF’s recent Rwf1.1 billion donation to Girinka Programme.

On December 6, 2016, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) donated Rwf1.1 billion towards the Girinka Programme.

This financial year, Rwf3.5 billion was disbursed to districts to buy cows to be distributed under Girinka, according to figures from RAB.

Since its introduction in 2006 with support from President Paul Kagame, Girinka Programme has so far provided cows to about 260,000 vulnerable household as figures from RAB as of October, 2016 show, against the 350,000 targeted households by 2017.