Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth.Since Monday is Earth Day, we wanted to share some of our work around the world that exemplifies this mission, especially those in which caring for the Earth is at the heart.
Heifer's work is focused on ending hunger, but we can't end hunger without thinking about the implications our work can have for our planet. Poor agriculture is often related to soil erosion. Lack of water is often related to deforestation. And global warming is already hurting the world's most poor and vulnerable through drought and changing ecosystems. If we are going to set families on a path toward sustained prosperity we must make sure that we work for a sustainable environment.
In Sierra Leone's Port Loko district, which is mostly savannah, the all-too-frequent bush fires posed a serious threat to this already fragile environment, lowering the water table and harming crop yields. Heifer International intervened by introducing tree crops with economic value, and educating the communities through drama, a very unique and highly successful approach.
Living Water, a women's group in Brazil that Heifer has supported, recently received the "Rural Women Producers for a Sustainable Brazil" award. The group combines environmental conservation, women's empowerment and income generation, and the award is a symbol of the government of Brazils recognition of the work of these women and Heifer International.
In Bangladesh, an effort is underway protect the environment and health of communities in the Bhairab district from open defecation and makeshift latrines. Community members received training on health and nutrition, and they began to consider how their actions affect their families' health. They learned how unhygienic, open latrines spread disease and decided that taking measures to prevent disease is easier than trying to cure it. Members of the project management committee began the process of building sanitary pit latrines. It was a proud day for many when construction materials arrived.
These are just a few stories of how Heifer is working to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. To find out more about how Heifer takes care of the Earth, see our Cornerstone: Improving the Environment.
Find out ways to make an an eco-friendly meal and invite Mother Nature to dine with your family.