This weekly post shines a light on a handful of stories from Heifer.org’s “From the Field” section.
Heifer International’s model of change hinges on education. The importance of training participants and its correlation to success cannot be overstated.
While many farmers may have the correct supplies, success often remains elusive because they don’t have the proper training. In Vietnam, backyard chicken production is popular in rural areas. Diseases, weather conditions and lack of knowledge kept preventing the chicken farmers from prospering. Heifer International Vietnam held a Farmer Field School training where farmers shared their experiences and learned from each other. The training gave them the knowledge they needed to be successful.
Education also empowers disenfranchised groups. Mary Adhiambo Were’s husband died of HIV, and she struggled for years after his death. Family members of those with HIV often face rejection from the community. Mary joined a women’s cooperative where she learned how to increase her small farm’s yield. After receiving this training, Mary coaxed maximum productivity out of her farm using sustainable agricultural practices. Now, she sells milk, eggs, chickens and vegetables and bought two more acres of land with the profits from her endeavors.
Similarly, participation in Heifer International’s projects provides children with the opportunity for education. Kenflore, a 5-year-old living in Haiti, helps care for her family’s goats. The extra-income the gift of a goat provides will pay her school fees, setting her up for success.