We say it all the time: Heifer is a development organization. I posted yesterday about how you can help the immediate situation in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. The organizations listed are aid organizations. This is an important distinction.
Yes, we have a responsibility to help those in most immediate need, like the refugees arriving on Kenya’s doorstep with starving children. Heifer’s work, however, is to try to catch families and individuals upstream, so to speak, from these catastrophes. To help communities become strong enough that, when disaster strikes (be it environmental or man-made), they are resilient. We do this by helping them build water cisterns for collecting rain when it does fall, providing them with especially hardy livestock species, teaching them how to grow drought-resistent varieties of forage to feed their animals, and helping them plant trees and improve the soil naturally.
Read Pushing Back the Desert and learn how Heifer is working in drought-prone Senegal to help families and communities become stronger against the changes of nature.