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There's some exciting news coming from Nepal. Tomorrow, Friday, Heifer will formally launch a new $23.8 million project there, helping families band together to emerge from hunger and poverty.

Thuli Maya Lama, 45, of Juretthhum, Nepal.
This project will work in 28 districts to build up goat and dairy enterprises over the course of five years. Demand for these products is high in Nepal, but the country depends on imports to satisfy the need. By strengthening local production, Heifer hopes to reduce the number of goats being imported into Nepalby about 30 percent by the year 2016, and reduce milk imports by 10 percent.

This is an expansion of Heifer's work helping thousands of Nepalese people move from vulnerability to self-reliance. The project aims to teach families how to produce more meat and milk by managing their animals more carefully. Then, Heifer plans to help participants forge trade alliances. By forming community groups and cooperatives, farmers can better connect with buyers.

The Nepal project will employ Heifer’s unique holistic training system to empower its participants for the long term. In addition to learning how to properly care for their animals, participants will be educated in areas like money management, gender equality, literacy, community collaboration and entrepreneurship.

With that foundation, small-scale farmers can not only feed their ownfamilies, but also work together to find larger markets for more dairy products.

Heifer International has worked in Nepal since 1977 to reduce poverty and build sustainable family enterprises with animals like sheep, goats, ducks and water buffalo. Now Heifer is confident that in areas of Nepal with dire poverty, its new goat and dairy project can create transformative and lasting change.


Kelly MacNeil