ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A St. Louis nun is changing lives in Africa through cows.

Nearly a thousand cows have been given to farmers and a quarter million people in five African communities have moved from extreme poverty to self-help through 1.8 million in small loans.

Sister Toni Temporiti says after getting her master’s in social work and her PhD in marriage and family counseling from Wash U and SLU, she spent decades counseling, and when the opportunity came to take a sabbatical to Africa, a place she’d dreamed of, she took it.

“We literally went over land from Cairo, Egypt to Capetown, South Africa where we camped, in a truck, out every night and cooked for each other it was the way to see Africa,” she says.

The women she met from the villages stayed with her so when she returned to St. Louis, she soon decided to launch micro financing partners in Africa. That led her to partner with the cow project in Kenya.

“Instead of local cows which give 2 to 4 liters a day, these give 24 liters of milk a day, so 2 to 3 to feed your children, the rest of the milk goes to the dairy which the bishop started,” she says.

Sister Toni has also written two children’s books about micro financing in Africa.

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