Singing and dancing. Two things people everywhere should do a lot more of. My visits to Heifer projects in various communities have been educational and training-centered. Of course, that doesn’t mean all business and no fun, and what is more fun then Maggie trying to learn traditional village dances!
Well, the video of me stumbling around has accidentally been deleted from my camera, computer, hard drive and anywhere else it could possibly be. Fortunately, all video clips of the seasoned professionals remain in tact and ready for sharing.
The drumbeats, collection of voices, hand clapping, and specific footwork are integral parts of this experience. As far as how it connects to Heifer’s mission, Anjani, Bihar field officer, explains, “if they are dancing, if they are singing…harmony is flowing”.
Check out this medley of traditional dancers and a quick comment by Heifer field officer, Anjani Harsh:
Today, as a part of the Rio+20 Conference, the United Nations is hosting Water Day, which seeks to illustrate and address the critical challenges related to water management while connecting those issues to the work of Rio+20.
Water is at the foundation of sustainable development as it is the common denominator of all global challenges: energy, food, health, peace and security and poverty eradication.
Unfortunately, water demand is rising globally while water supplies are certainly not. According to the UN, 800 million people around the world don’t have access to safe drinking water. Another 2.5 billion don’t have access to sanitation.
Heifer’s project participants are often a part of that 800 million and/or 2.5 billion, and for them, securing access to a safe, reliable water supply is a daily challenge.
A family in Morante poses with their water barrels.
The video below is an example of one community’s struggle to find water. Morante is a part of the dry forest landscape in northern Peru, and water is scarce. The nearest water source is a well that was drilled by an oil company but found only water, not oil. That well is a six-hour round trip away from Morante.
Heifer Peru has worked with Morante and nearby communities through multiple projects since 2004 and has provided donkeys and tools for more efficient water collection, like water barrels and carts, in addition to small livestock like goats and training. The community is currently attempting to dig their own through the support of Heifer and the local government.
Morante is just one community that is struggling to survive because of a lack of water. People all over the world are dealing with the same issue at this very moment. Heifer is working with many communities to make sure they have access to water, but this problem will persist unless governments and organizations worldwide unite to find solutions. Hopefully, world leaders will come together this week to do their part to address important water issues at Rio+20.
Note: The video above is a part of an hour-long documentary produced by Heifer Peru.
Still looking for the right Father’s Day gift? You’re cutting it a bit close, but there’s still time to go on our website and pick the perfect alternative gift for your dad and get one of our free printable Father’s Day cards. With a gift from Heifer, you’ll be honoring your dad while giving another dad the chance to better provide for his family.
Watch our own Cindy Jones-Nyland on our local news station from earlier this morning.
So tomorrow, I am flying off to Bihar, a north-eastern Indian State which borders Nepal. I am beyond excited, as this will be my first field visit with Heifer India. I have worked in the Delhi-based office for 2 weeks, learned about headquarters operations, and read many case studies in preparation.
None of those things can replace the actual experience of meeting the individuals, families, and communities involved in these projects. I conducted some quick interviews with a few of the Heifer staff members to get an idea of what to expect from the upcoming experience. If what is going on in these communities is even just half as amazing as what these three describe, I will most definitely be “swept off my feet”, like Vineeta exclaims- I can’t wait!
Farmers in Mexico are trying out an unusual crop, with Heifer International’s help. Amaranth is a grain native to Mexico that hasn’t been widely cultivated in hundreds of years. But it’s highly nutritious – lots of protein, vitamins and minerals – and it grows well in arid areas.
Over the last few years, Heifer and its partners in Oaxaca, Mexico, have helped dozens of families by providing training in amaranth cultivation and soil conservation. Now Heifer International Mexico hopes to continue its work there by focusing on children in the poverty-stricken region.
In this video, you can see what amaranth looks like and hear more about the project from the kids involved. You’ll also see how to make the sweet treat called “alegria,” or “happiness.”
Got a dad who loves power tools? Honor him with the original – a water buffalo or goat. Or maybe fish or chicks from the Heifer International Gift Catalog – and address hunger and poverty head on. This Father’s Day, Gift Different. Give Heifer.
In preparation for Mother’s Day, CEO of Heifer South Africa Marisia Geraci made this brief video about exposing her twins to Heifer’s work around the world. On a recent visit to Rwanda and Kenya, the girls met project participants and learned about their lives. They are becoming young leaders in the field of development and dream of being “Heifers” like their Mommy.
Give your mother something different this Mother’s Day.A gift from Heifer will show Mom that kids can change the world with a meaningful present that gives back.