CORNERSTONE: GENDER AND FAMILY FOCUS
HOW IT WORKS:
In Heifer's work, gender equity is central to success. Men and women must work side by side in equally respected roles and responsibilities for a family to lift itself out of poverty, which is why Heifer confronts issues of patriarchy and inequality head on. Also, women are more likely to share the fruits of their education and success with their families.
Encourage girls to study math and science, and support female entrepreneurs. Raise your sons to treat women as equals, and make sure you advocate education for both genders equally. Parents, teach your boys how to cook and teach your girls how to wield a hammer.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Regine Ndjiwo, 55, and Justine Passo, 50, are members of Heifer projects in the western region of Cameroon, a little over nine miles from Heifer’s office in Bamenda. They are part of GIC APEB (Groupe d’Initiative Commune d’Apiculture et Eleveurs de Bamepah) created in Bamepah Village.
Valerik Khachatryan is a skillful tailor. He is famous in his village for his beautiful work. When he is not busy sewing or tailoring, he does small-scale farming. His family, which includes his wife Amalya, daughter Zhanna, 16, and son Vanik, 13, owns two calves, six hens, 10 chickens and a small pool with carp fish. Valerik dreams of growing their family farm.
My wife and I have just returned from a Heifer Project study trip to Ecuador. We have long been friends of Heifer and we have now seen first hand the ongoing response to human need in which Heifer is engaged.
When I was given the opportunity to volunteer at Heifer International, I was thrilled because it was an opportunity to support a cause whereby I have personally witnessed its contribution towards alleviating poverty. In my own little way, I hope I can contribute towards the mission of Heifer International in ending hunger and poverty in the world.
Heifer India participant, Jaituna Ameen Khan, recites 12 Cornerstones of Heifer International
What is the significance of Cornerstones? Why are these given so much prominence? Vineeta Sharma, administrative officer for Heifer India, gives her thoughtful take on Heifer's 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development.
I no longer behave like I used to, the way I used to handle my wife. Considering gender awareness, I have benefited from the project and our family relations have greatly improved.
Now my cow shed is better than that house in which I lived. When my husband received Cornerstones and Gender and Justice training, he also understood me. Everybody, including my husband, now asks my opinion and suggestions for decisions−without my decision nothing happens.
I see children everywhere at Passing on the Gift® events, door-to-door visits, hanging around their mothers and marching in rallies alongside women. These children are growing up around strong, independent women who have a voice and opinions to bring change in their community.
We named our cause “Mooooved to Action” and our goal was to raise enough money by selling our homemade jewelry to purchase a milk cow for a family that needs help through Heifer International. Our kids could hardly wait to purchase the cow and worked for about three months on their goal.
I received two goats from Heifer International and applied the knowledge I acquired during Improved Animal Management training while raising them. After receiving the animals I have passed on two goats. My small effort has helped my family have a better life. I hope other women will be able to achieve bigger success by working harder.
Aol Josphine in Acet Central village, Uganda. She is a participant in Heifer International's Gulu Women Dairy Farmers project. See more photos.
Anandi Jatav is an example of what women's empowerment can do.
Empowering women is at the core of Heifer International’s model for sustainable development. In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, this week we are sharing stories of the women with whom Heifer works, who take the gifts of livestock and education to produce extraordinary results for themselves, their families and their communities.
Women leaders from all corners of Ukraine participated in study tours between October 2012 and February 2013. Funded by Heifer Ukraine and the Women's Information Consultative Center, the trainings aimed to solve problems such as high unemployment, domestic violence and lack of medical care.
Following the small concrete path, we were surprised to find a lively painted thatched house peacefully surrounded by green paddyfield, pig pen, hen house and garden of flowers.
After our descent from Kilimanjaro with the group of Elanco employees who are Heifer International supporters, I had the opportunity to visit the Kitomary family in Tanzania.
The seating arrangement at a Heifer training session in Fandene on a hot May day in 2010 was fairly typical for this rural region of a strongly Muslim country: men in the front, women in the back.
The rural poor suffer greatly from disasters of all kinds every year.
Social Justice is personified by a husband in the Philippines who, after attending trainings on Heifer’s 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development, values his wife’s work and begins helping provide for his family.
Social Justice is girls in Nicaragua, where 32 percent of girls over 15 are illiterate, attending school because their families don’t need them to stay home and work.
...livestock are at the very core of much of how Heifer works with families...
At Heifer International we believe there is no development strategy more beneficial to society than the one that involves women as central players, and at the same time engages men to encourage a more accepting view of women’s participation.