In the video above, Heifer Zambia Country Director James Kasongo walks through the stages of a Heifer project, using a diorama outside the main office in Lusaka to explain the changes that occur step by step as participants leave insecurity, hunger and poverty behind to become powerful, confident business owners who fully support themselves and their families.
Kasongo says Heifer Zambia cannot begin to meet the powerful demand from those in need throughout the country for its life-changing Pass on the Gift model. “Know that we are very ambitious in our fundraising efforts and are working to find partners so we can reach out to more and more in need,” Kasongo said.
World Ark is traveling in Zambia this week to learn more about women’s dairy cattle projects in the Copperbelt region. Many area residents, once dependent on mining employment, are finding that knowledge of agriculture and animal husbandry are key to their income and nutrition as the mines close and jobs become scarce.
Country Director James Kasongo at his Lusaka office.
Heifer International was recently announced as a winner in the first round of Best Practices and Innovations Initiative from InterAction, a coalition of more than 150 humanitarian organizations. A Heifer Zambia project received the award for Livestock Production and Gender Integration. The project, Women Farmers Building Community Resilience through Harnessing Crops and Livestock, seeks “to overcome gender-based discrimination and gender stereoptyping in terms of access to resources and ownership of livestock.” (Read the full project brief.)
Bess Mutelo, right, is a Heifer Zambia project member in Mika village who received draft cows. “We were very excited because we know these animals are very useful. They have given us so many benefits: manure, plowing and increased crop production,” she said. “Anything that previously required pulling or carrying our draft cattle can do. This saves us a lot of labor.” Here, Mutelo stands the beneath “Gender and Family Focus,” one of Heifer’s 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development and a favorite of women in Zambia. (Photo by Jake Lyell.) Read more about Bess Mutelo in the Jan./Feb. 2009 issue of World Ark magazine.
Other InterAction award winners included World Vision, Mercy Corps, Helen Keller International and ADRA International.