A Cow For Rashid

For those of you who are not followers of mine on Facebook, my name is Chris DiOrio. I’m an American attorney and civil rights advocate involved in a human rights mission in Uganda. During the course of my time here, I befriended a young 15 year old named Rashid, who was brutally assaulted and had his family business stolen/destroyed in the process. The story is here:


Tragically, Rashid succumbed to his injuries, leaving behind a grieving mom, four siblings, and a small village who suffers with the loss. That story is here:


In searching for a way to help this family, I was advised by locals and people familiar with village customs that singling them out for help might actually be insulting to the rest of the village, as they “rise and fall together”, so I racked my brain to find some way to honor this young man, while still benefiting the group. So, tonight, it hit me:

I want to buy a dairy cow for the village.

The people here buy their milk in small plastic bags ladled out by a guy who walks a milk can around on the back of a bicycle all day. A cow honors the loss, while assisting the village with milk and dairy needs, as well as fertilizer for their subsistence farming. In initial discussions with a farmer and agriculture person here, a good sized healthy dairy cow can cost between 1.0-1.5mil Ugandan shillings, which in US currency is around $500 dollars. Adding in delivery and “startup costs” on the cow, and the total would be roughly $1000.00. Of course, if I raise more, hell, I’ll buy a bull as well, so they won’t need a neighboring village to help with breeding.

I KNOW that I have friends who are vegetarian, or vegan, and very much against animal products. I’m hopeful that you forgive this request, and also hopeful that you understand the place I’m coming from in asking, in that the subsistence situation here is vastly different than in America and the rest of the West.

Those of you who know me know that asking for help is hard for me, but this is a different time, and a different place. I’m hopeful that folks can honor the memory of this young man, his family, and the people around him, by giving, or sharing, or both. Thank you, as always.

Let’s get a cow.
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Chris DiOrio 
Whitman, MA
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