CORNERSTONE: SUSTAINABILITY AND SELF-RELIANCE
HOW IT WORKS:
Short-term fixes eat up resources and don't help families learn how to provide for themselves in the longterm. Heifer projects focus on caring for animals and the Earth so that they continue to produce. Participants get an initial boost from Heifer, but help comes in the form of tools and knowledge that will allow them to make their own way.
Be mindful of your weight on the planet. Could you tread more lightly? When you can, eat foods that are grown locally. Carpool or walk. Reuse and recycle. Be aware of the true price of what you buy. Was the person who made it fairly compensated? Was the air, water or soil polluted?
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Red Bluff is a small town located in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California. Our town is surrounded by nut orchards and prune orchards, and most folks grow a big garden and have a few fruit trees in their own yard – growing everything from lemons to pomegranates to persimmons. Most of us have enough to share, and at The Presbyterian Church of Red Bluff we wanted to share our surplus in a way that would benefit Heifer International.
Cows are so awesome. And we’re not just saying that because we are called Heifer International. Here, we’ve long held the idea that animals, as just one of the things that Heifer provides to families, should always provide “7 M’s” so that they’re truly transformative for those we support. Heifer developed the idea of 7 M’s many years ago to help more simply explain how an animal can be a catalyst for so much change. It sounds sort of weird, but it works, and has for nearly 70 years.
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.
My name is Zhenya. I am from the Kirants community of Armenia. I am 14. I attend the Heifer youth club in our village. In 2012, I developed a business plan that was approved by Heifer Armenia, and I received a small youth grant to realize my business plan. Heifer gave me 40,000 Armenian drams (about $100) as a youth business start-up.
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.
Two years ago, Heifer International’s partner, IDEAS, was promoting a livelihoods project in a community in Peru. The project, Building Sustainable Livelihoods in Piura's Dry Forest Community, was an opportunity that 42-year-old Maria Esmelda decided she couldn’t pass up, so she signed up. Esmelda recounts her experience as a participant...
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.
My family and I are grateful to Heifer and Chetthor for their good deed. I never forget to thank them. I look after these precious gifts very well with my husband and my children.
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.
These protein packed "pets" are wonderful. They lay nutritional eggs, compost our food scraps, and create compost for the garden.
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.
Life in Chinar is very dangerous. Every day my wife takes our two kids to the kindergarten with a feeling of fear in her heart. The other day the nurse in the kindergarten told my wife that every time when the shootings start she turns on the music very loudly so that the children don’t hear the shootings. Thanks to Heifer we now have a cow and a calf.
World Ark Senior Editor Austin Bailey and Heifer Americas Program Assistant Jason Woods share about their recent trip to Bolivia's "Chocolate Forest."
We sell the horchata for 40 cents a glass and can earn about $150 in a day. It is a source of income. It helps with the costs of school for my son and food for home.
I was amazed to see firsthand the holistic view of development that Heifer propagates. The projects are not limited to passing on a cow; rather, Heifer's 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development encompass every aspect of life, from diversifying incomes to empowering women and families to working together to end poverty.
Their success is an inspiration not just to me, but to groups like them all over the world who see that whatever they can imagine they can make real with their own hands.
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.
I've always had this dream of buying a piece of land and starting a homestead on it. Nothing very big or grandiose but just a place where I could raise at least some of my own food and a few animals.
I love my business. It's not an easy deal; it requires care, attention and a high sense of responsibility.
With the money I was granted by Heifer, I bought four she-rabbits and one male rabbit. I also bought feed for them.
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.
Eka Surameli and her children were displaced from their Georgian village during the Russian-Georgian war. The conflict destroyed border villages and people's gardens and orchards. In 2011, the Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG) partnered with Heifer Georgia to improve the livelihoods and economic conditions of people in this region, including Eka. She attended trainings on agricultural technologies and drip irrigation systems, and received seedlings. Heifer is creating a better life for people and give them the most important thing-hope for a peaceful future.