The Bath-based charity’s campaign was given extra impetus as the Government had agreed to match every donation, £1 for £1 until December 31st 2015.
The Planting Hope campaign kicked off with a Guinness World Record attempt for the longest selfie chain. Whilst in the line, hundreds of participants held up signs with their ‘hope’ for the future and uploaded their pictures to social media using the hashtag #PlantingHope. There was a dedicated text number where people could donate to Send a Cow.
To maximise the Government’s pledge, and to promote the charity’s Christmas catalogue, Agency planned a second burst of activity closer to the festive period.
Agency produced an 80 second spoof documentary film ‘Panto Farm’ which invited viewers to ‘turn panto season into planting season in Africa’ by visiting sendacowgifts.org and gifting more practical items at Christmas including seeds and tools – to help African families become self-sufficient. With the help of celebrities including Ab Fab actress and SAC supporter Joanna Lumley sharing on social media, the video amassed over 9,000 views in just a few days.
‘#Panto Farm’ was shot as a spoof documentary starring a rural cattle farmer – played by actor Marc Danbury who has also appeared in Casualty, The Bill and Johnny English – who breeds pantomime cows for panto season.
Thanks to supporters and partners like Agency, Send a Cow’s Planting Hope Appeal raised £1.17million, every penny of which will be doubled by the UK government to fund a new project in Wolayita, southern Ethiopia.
Wolayita is a mountainous area 300km from the capital Addis Ababa, where households are dependent on their small farms for their livelihoods, but have insufficient food due to poor yields. Families experience chronic hunger for more than five months a year. Starting in July 2016, Send a Cow will use funds from the Planting Hope Appeal to train 5,870 families over three years, giving them the skills and confidence to farm their land and provide a secure and hopeful future.