The calves will be reared for 18-months and put in-calf before being sent to its new family. Prisoners from Shelton Abbey and Longhand House look after the animals as part of a farming training programme.

Many of the people who receive a heifer from Bóthar are subsistence farmers, producing barely enough food for their family. Receiving a cow means they can earn an income and safeguard the future of their family.

Deputy CEO of Bóthar, Dave Moloney, said cows from Ireland can make a huge difference in the developing world.

"Every family that receives an Irish dairy heifer notices an immediate difference in their lives when she calves and starts to produce milk. Irish dairy cows do very well in the developing world, giving about 16-20 litres of milk per day, whereas for example in Rwanda, the local, indigenous cow produces just one litre per day," he said.

Anyone gifted with a cow will be trained in livestock care before receiving their animal. They also have to pledge to pass the cow's first-born heifer to a neighbouring family.

Nearly 380 calves have been donated to the appeal in the past. If you would like to donate a calf to Bother please contact Dave Moloney, Bóthar, on 1800 268 463 or email The appeal will run until 30 April 2015.

The Irish Farmers Journal travelled to Rwanda to see the difference these cows are making in the lives of people in this small country in Eastern Africa. You can read the story here.