Training and Education


Training and Education


Training and education are key to ensure that animals are well cared for, and that participants get the most out of their projects. Participants learn nuts-and-bolts skills such as how to build sturdy pens and grow fodder, but they also receive training in all 12 Cornerstones. Cornerstone training helps participants tap into their own wisdom and strengths, both as individuals and as communities.


You can't solve a problem if you don't know about it, so stay informed of what's happening around you, both locally and globally. Encourage children's curiosity. Support making decent education available worldwide.


What Heifer Gifts Mean to Students at Bella Vista Elementary

Recently, Heifer received a letter from Kathleen M., a long-time Heifer International donor and a Special Education teacher in California. In the letter she shared that this year, instead of giving her students traditional holiday gifts, she wanted to teach her students why she loves to give to Heifer. After passing around Heifer's "Most Important Gift Catalog in the World," Kathleen held a nomination for the animal her students most wanted to donate to Heifer. The classroom decided on a pig and a few other smaller donations. As a thank you for participating, she passed out kid-friendly honor cards, asking her students to draw what Heifer means to them. For the next week or so, we will be sharing their drawings with you. We hope you enjoy looking at their depictions of Heifer's mission as much as we did!

The Sahel

Field Update: Information Collected

Collection of information from all three communities complete! Using an innovative, practical methodology developed by Fundación Paraguaya, Poverty Stoplight.


Perfectly Named School "SoulShine" Changes Lives with Heifer

Throughout the month of December, the SoulShine day school and after school programs learned about Heifer International and the different animals and opportunities that can be gifted to families all over the world. Ages 2-12 looked at the magazines, materials, and lesson plans about farming and raising livestock. On December 17 we held a market and raised over $100 for Heifer International by selling goods we made together. The children made all the products including vegan cinnamon buns, dream pillows, necklaces, candles, and more. The SoulShine school tripled our donation amount to $320 and we bought 4 baskets of hope and 1 goat from Heifer International. During this month of learning with Heifer International, one of my favorite activities was having our 2-year old students identify animals that live in the wild and animals that live on the farm. It was fun to show them pictures of farm animals using Heifer International images and then play sounds of the animals. The 2-year old students were asked to identify the sounds of ducks, chickens, cows, pigs, and more. We all giggled and learned that we can share these gifts with families in need. Thank you Heifer International. Submitted by Andrea Zoppo


The Giving Garden, an Eagle Project, Benefits Heifer

Received in the beginning of December 2015, the below letter was sent into Heifer International from Pam Nemeth, proud mother of Jake Nemeth, co-founder of The Giving Garden and recently inducted Eagle Scout. There was no way we at Heifer were going to allow Jake's hard work and dedication to go unacknowledged. We'd like to allow Pam's words to tell you more about Jake's Eagle Project, so without further ado... (Click the title of this story to read more!)


Cullman City Primary School Classroom Reads Nearly 500 Books

I am happy to report that my first grade class raised $300 for our Read to Feed Christmas outreach project and read nearly 500 books. My big-hearted children did this in lieu of exchanging gifts with each other and some gave that money toward the program. Through their efforts, we were able to purchase 2 llamas which will provide annual income for 2 or more needy families in other countries. We learned about the various resources/animals available for purchase through Heifer throughout this process and about some of the children who have benefited from it across the globe. My class has been doing this for 5 years and loving it every year! Submitted by Casey Grier


Conneaut Elementary Learns About the Importance of Giving Back!

I am a first grade teacher. As a part of our unit on cultures and holidays around the world, the other two first grade teachers and I ask the children to donate THEIR money (from their piggy banks or from chores) toward a donation for livestock purchase. This year the first graders of Conneaut Elementary School in Bowling Green, Ohio raised $145 dollars and were able to donate one goat and one flock of chicks. This is a great opportunity for the students to learn how important it is to give back! Submitted by Shannon K.


Kid Bucks Create a Large Donation

Ms. Ferry’s first grade class, along with 5 other first grade classes, listened to the story Beatrice’s Goat and wanted to do something to help villages like Beatrice’s. We performed services at home to earn “kid bucks” that we could bring back to school. Once we earned 100 kid bucks, our teacher sent a goat to a village in need through Heifer International. Altogether, the first grade classes at our school were able to send TEN goats! After earning our kid bucks, students wrote about their experiences and services they performed to earn their kid bucks. Their pages were put together into a book that is now published in our hallway. This is a picture of our board where we kept track of how many goats we earned. We also made books about how we earned our goats. We hope our goats help many families! Submitted by Marissa Ferry, Ashleigh Barraco & Laura Atkinson


Beatrice's Goat Continues to Impact Classrooms

Each year, our K-8 school does a service project. This November, our service project was to read and share the book, Beatrice’s Goat with each of the grades. The students were inspired by Beatrice’s story, as well as learning that their gift would bring lasting positive change to children and families around the world. They excitedly gave money towards the purchase of ducks, geese, chicks, rabbits, honeybees, pigs, goats, tree seedlings, a sheep, a water buffalo, and an irrigation pump with Heifer International. Thank you for providing a tangible way for young students to help make a positive difference in people’s lives around the world! Best wishes, Mrs. Hill Lamb of God School


Seven Hills Middle School Sells Scarecrows for Heifer

Ms. Julie Bair and her fifth grade class at Seven Hills Middle School in Nevada City, California designed and created scarecrows for the Scarecrows for Heifer service learning project to raise funds in benefit of Heifer International. Local businesses generously donate materials and a venue to sell the finished scarecrows. Ms. Bair has worked with students in the Nevada City Schools on scarecrow projects over many years to raise funds to support Heifer International’s mission of helping families. Hats off to Ms. Bair for her dedication to both Heifer and developing the next generation of donors!


Prairie Society's Year of the Cow

Prairie Society is a small Unitarian Universalist congregation in Madison, Wisconsin. There are about 15 youth in our middle/high school religious education program. This year the kids have become very excited about raising money to donate to Heifer for the gift of a cow based on research one group member had done on the organization. Half of their RE time will be dedicated to planning and carrying out fundraising efforts. They call this “The Year of the Cow.” Already the group participated in a local rummage sale where they sold clothing, bird seed treats, pottery items, and, of course, cow cookies. They had two tables covered in a Holstein cow (black and white, since this is Wisconsin) table cloth and created a large display cow. They raised almost $100. The class will present a play to the congregation describing “The Year of the Cow” project and sell more cookies and cow ornaments through the holidays. They will also fundraise to make a trip to the international village in Michigan. Submitted by Molly Plunkett


The Sheep 'n Kids Club of Washington County, NY

Dear Friends, The Sheep 'n Kids Club of Washington County, NY would like to donate to Heifer International $120.00 to sponsor a sheep for a family in need. The members raised the funds this past year at their sheep to shawl public demonstrations showing all the steps involved in turning raw wool into woven or felted fabric. Below is a picture of the club showing off their t-shirts earned for their presentation to County Extension leaders. Community service is a large part of the 4-H experience and as stated in the 4-H pledge, the world is part of our community. We are pleased to be able to assist Heifer International make the lives of a family better. Sincerely, Margaret Brand, leader


Student Teaches Classroom about Heifer International

Recently, Ms. MacDonald, a teacher at Nativity Catholic School, reached out to Heifer International to share a paper written on Heifer by one of her students. Seventh grade student Gwyneth decided to write about Heifer after being instructed to write an expository essay on a charity of her choice. Her parents support Heifer and believing that Heifer's mission is a "really nice, smart system," Gwyneth decided to approach the assignment as an opportunity to learn more about Heifer. Here is what she had to say. "21,000 people die every year due to hunger related issues and nearly 1,000,000,000,000 people still live in extreme poverty (“Hunger and World Poverty”). Heifer International is a charity that works to end hunger and poverty. It was founded by Dan West in 1944. Dan West was driven to create a charity that would not only help the communities supported but to change the communities for the better. Heifer International also uses 16.4 percent of the donations on providing education for those who do not have the option to receive personal education. This charity is important for helping people who would otherwise go unhelped and to save entire communities from extreme poverty..." Click the title of this story to read more!


Maria Montessori's Empty Bowls Project

May 20, 2015 Dear Heifer, Our school recently held an Empty Bowls event to fight hunger. Our elementary and middle school students created handmade ceramic bowls for the event. The students voted and decided to donate the $700 they raised selling the bowls to Heifer! We hope it will do a lot of good! I have enclosed a photo of their beautiful bowls to share with you. Best, Maria Cole and the students of the Maria Montessori School Memphis, TN


15 Days of Random Acts of Kindness

There is a history behind this donation. The second and third grade class at Terrace Elementary School in Richardson, TX each won $100 from our Altrusa International, Inc. of Richardson, TX Club as a reward for winning the "15 Days of Random Acts of Kindness" challenge the school held earlier this year. They personally selected what animals they wanted to donate. The children had so much fun picking which animals to select and were so excited to receive the opportunity to help others to create a better world. We are giving them your animal buttons and stickers to give them additional recognition. Thank you for sending them to us. Thank you, Jane Tucker International Relations Committee Co-Chair Althrusa International, Inc. of Richardson, TX


A Donor Takes the Time to Thank Heifer

For the past six years, freshmen at Ottawa Township High School in Ottawa, IL have participated in a project in which they are challenged to come up with a solution to poverty, hunger and access to clean water. This is part of the World History curriculum. Students are required to research organizations that address these issues both locally and globally. During the 2014-15 school year, freshmen raised $10,874.07 for charities, volunteered almost 500 hours, reached over 5000 people with public service announcements and donated hundreds of pounds of food. This project allows students to realize the impact and influence they have in changing people's lives for good. Click the title of this story to read Lynn's letter to Heifer International.


Beatrice's Goat Inspires Classroom Fundraiser

Recently, our third grade class read a story in our reading club about Beatrice from Kisinga, Uganda, Africa. Her family was awarded a goat when Beatrice was about eight-years old. The goat had twins. One goat was sold for money to help buy a house, and the other goat and mother gave milk which was sold. This money allowed Beatrice to buy books and a uniform so she could attend school. ...After having read about Beatrice, we decided that we wanted to be a part of something great and also make an impact on bettering the lives of others in our world. Click the title of this story to read more!


Cottonwood Third-Graders Learn a Lesson about Giving

When the nearly 80 third-grade students at Salina’s Cottonwood Elementary started collecting pennies at the beginning of November, the idea was the money would go toward a class Christmas party. Somewhere along the way, in the course of a world geography lesson, actually, the target of that loose change was redirected from party-time to cattle and ducks... This story was originally written by Eric Wiley and published by the Salina Journal on December 18, 2015: Click the title of this story to read more!