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Following a recent Heifer Study Tour to Honduras, Virginia Tech students were given an assignment: Choose one photograph from the trip and explain why you chose it and which of Heifer’s 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development it embodies. Over the course of this week, we’ll share these images and words to give you a look at how much of an impact seeing Heifer’s work in the field can have. Read other posts in the series here.

Full Participation

Lisa Hill, Humanities, Science, & Environ, VA Tech: The photo I chose was taken by Antonio, a young boy from a village we visited one day after work. When I got off the bus at the village, Antonio had his arms outstretched and looking at me, expecting to be picked up and carried around. When I had him in my arms, he reached for my camera and started taking pictures of everything and everyone around him. After I got home and had a chance to look through my pictures, this one stuck out in particular. To me, this photo represents the CAFS cornerstone of Collaborative Teaching and Experiential Learning and the Heifer Cornerstone of Full Participation: One of the descriptions of Collaborative Teaching and Experiential Learning is “Improving learning and development of communities of co-learners”. This picture shows how our group was gaining knowledge and experiences from the Hondurans, as much as they were benefiting from us. We all played the role of teacher and the role of student throughout the week. The lessons we took away were extremely valuable, even if it was as simple as Antonio showing us how to laugh and smile after a long and tiring day or work. In this photo, I also saw the Heifer Cornerstone of Full Participation. When we were working on our project, every member of the family and every member of our group helped. Even the little children did their part by entertaining us. Additionally, when we worked, we worked as one group. It wasn’t the Honduras and the Americans working separately. Instead, we worked together, side by side to complete the job.

Sustainability & Self-Reliance

S. Myrick:  I chose this photo because I believes it exemplifies the Heifer Cornerstone of Sustainability and Self-Reliance. It also displays the CAFS value of strong local economics. I picked this particular picture, because it shows the making of the farm school. The farm school will provide economic and communal opportunities. With the added education to the community, as a whole they can work together to build strong ties between each other and other communities. I believe with the school many more families will be able to provide for themselves. The school will give families a chance to not only become educated but to create job opportunities in their community. I find this picture to be more impacting because it displays labor within a community. Wilber, a man from the community, was helping build the school for others in the community. If he was paid, it is furthering the idea of building strong local communities. Overall, I think the education alone will strengthen the community but also create many more economic opportunities than imaginable.


Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She and her husband raise two daughters in a house way too small for their four pets. They spend a lot of time sweeping.