This weekly post shines a light on a handful of stories from Heifer.org’s “From the Field” section.
Heifer International’s Training and Education Cornerstone is the first stop on every participant’s journey to Passing on the Gift®. Education makes the achievement of self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods possible and gives project participants the tools to multiply justice and hope worldwide.
The Port Loko district of Sierra Leone suffers from seasonal bush fires, which consume fruit trees, cause water shortages and reduce crop yields. Heifer International is working with Kids Arise, a local non-governmental drama organization, to educate communities on the dangers of bush fires and preventative measures. Through drama and song, Kids Arise has helped decrease deforestation.
Renuka Begum, a 40-year-old wife and mother, did not receive a childhood education due to extreme poverty. After participating in trainings on Heifer’s 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development, gender and justice and improved animal management, she began applying her education to improve her family’s livelihood. Her daughter’s education is now secure and Renuka is diligent in sharing, caring and participating in self-help group (SHG) activities.
Sixteen-year-old Shushan Khachatryan of Armenia presented a business plan and received a $100 grant to start her business through Heifer Armenia’s Young Agriculturists Network of Armenia (YANOA) project. She selected a business plan by applying what she had learned through YANOA, which increased her haricot bean sales. “When I was developing my business plan I took into account many details,” Shushan said. “Yet, in my simple business idea I invested an innovative approach. I decided to provide recipes of dishes prepared from haricots to all the customers who would buy haricots from me.”