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In 2008, Linus and Leston Mugala had just found out they would soon be part of a Heifer project. The Mugala’s were so poor and undernourished that Linus feared for her children’s lives.

“Our standard of living was very poor,” Linus said then. “Our children did not have enough food. We couldn’t manage to send our children to school because we lacked money.”

Their total earnings for the entire year were just $54. But that was soon to change. After completing trainings that included animal husbandry and health, Linus received her livestock, a milk bucket and veterinary medicines.

Mother with son
Linus Mugala with her now 5-year-old son, Mischeck, in 2013. The photo above was taken of the two of them in 2008.

The first big change was the milk they received from the cow. In fact, there was not only enough milk for the entire family to drink, but also enough left over to sell for income. Their growing herd of dairy cows now produces 11 gallons of milk a day and the family earns about $8,700 a year from milk sales alone.

In just five years, the Mugala family has changed dramatically.

BEFORE Heifer, the only livestock Linus could afford to purchase was a few chickens that never provided enough income to support the family.

AFTER receiving her Heifer dairy cows, Linus and her family were able to save enough money to invest in additional animals. Today, there are 25 chickens, 10 cattle, 24 pigs and 6,000 fish on the farm.

BEFORE Linus received her dairy cow, money was so scarce that school for the children was out of reach.

AFTER they were able to earn a steady income from their thriving farm, the children can all go to school.

BEFORE the project, Linus and her children never knew where their next meal would come from.

AFTER receiving an opportunity from Heifer, the family now eats three meals a day. 

The Mugala family is now not only able to feed themselves, but they have even been able to empower other families by Passing on the Gift.

Make the same kind of difference for another family in need. Now—in the International Year of Family Farming—is a great time to invest in the people that can feed the world.


Annie Bergman

Annie Bergman is a Global Communications Manager and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo, among many others in her six years at Heifer.