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.

Projects & Families

Elizabeth Starts a Fundraiser at Her School

My Grandma introduced me to Heifer International when I was 5 or 6 years old. It was near Christmas and she got a magazine, thought it was junk mail and was looking through it. She started reading about Heifer. Then I came over and she asked me, "Do you want to give a trio of rabbits to a family somewhere in the world?" I said, "Sure" and she told me all about Heifer. Now I am 10 years old and I have been giving to Heifer for a long time. I just love Heifer and it is an organization that helps poor people. I wanted my 4th grade class to know about Heifer and how they can help families. I talked with a teacher at my school and asked for help. We worked on a presentation to share with the 4th graders teaching them about Heifer. Then I made a flyer to go home with all the 4th graders. Then they had 2 weeks to donate money to Heifer. After the 2 weeks I counted all the money and we came out with $150.13. I want to buy an irrigation pump because I know water is very important. You can make food with it and you can drink it. I hope my donation impacts the world! Submitted by Elizabeth S.


Classroom Fundraiser Grows into School-Wide Effort

Please accept this donation not just from me, but as a gift from North Park Elementary School. Let me explain how this came about. When I received the Heifer International (gift) catalog at my home, I decided to see if my principal would approve it as a class fundraiser. Needless to say, she did, so the class fundraiser grew into a school-wide fundraiser! All we asked for were donations of loose change and we call our fundraiser, "Change to Change the World." (Along with an introductory letter we wrote to help students, families and teachers learn more about your orgainzation and mission) some teachers also read Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier, which contains an afterward by Hillary Clinton that mentions Heifer International. In the end we collected $229.76 in loose change as well as $89 in bills. The students were so proud to see the level of generosity found within our school community! So, on behalf of the North Park Elementary community, please accept our donation and use it in any way that will support the communities in need most. Thank you for what you are doing!


A Well-Traveled Donor Gives to Vietnam


Dear Heifer, I am a teacher in the small, rural school of West Greene District in PA. I also love travel, and do so frequently with my fiancee and have organized an International Club at my school. My fiancee and I have been to numerous countries (17 for me, 38 for him--he is a retired US Marine), and the students have raised money and in the last four years have traveled to England, France, Greece and Italy. They are currently fundraising for the next trip in 2017, a return to London and Paris, albeit with a new group. I do my best to open the world and its experiences to my students, many of whom have never traveled outside of their own state, let alone another country. I try to expose them to the sometimes vast differences between the life they know in the US and that of others in various countries. To that end, I encourage donations whenever possible. In the past, the West Greene International Club has donated twice to Cambodia, a country near to my heart after visiting there. Our last donation was a few months ago, and we received a lovely certificate from Heifer, which is proudly displayed in my classroom. With that certificate came a note concerning Heifer's latest project spotlight--Vietnam--which I immediately showed to my students. I have also visited that beautiful country and showed my photos to the students and told them about the people there. In the spirit of Christmas, my students brought in donations--single dollars, coins, pennies, etc. A fellow teacher donated as well. We proudly enclose our check for $50. Warm regards, Rebecca M.


Beatrice's Goat Inspires More Classroom Giving


Dear Heifer International, The fifth grade class at Des Arc Elementary recently read the book Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier, about a young girl in Uganda whose family was drastically improved because they were gifted a goat from Heifer International. The class decided instead of exchanging Christmas presents, they would like to try to collect enough money to purchase a goat and help those less fortunate. It is our hope that other classes as well as schools will follow suit and give to such a wonderful organization. With love, Des Arc Elementary 5th grade class


Team 23 at Sycamore Elementary School Donates $890

Dear Heifer, "Team 23," as our classroom community calls itself, is excited to enclose a donation of $890.00 to Heifer International! This money is a combination of a student run hot chocolate sales, extra chores done around the house, and spare change collected by the students as well as teacher and parent contributions. We are excited that this donation will be matched by the generous donor you mentioned on your website! The students spent time in groups looking through the Heifer gift catalog and discussing the merits of the different animals. They would like their donation to purchase a heifer, a goat, a llama and a pig. The students also took time to make some cards and write some notes about their experiences learning about and donating to Heifer International! Sincerely, Cindy Erhart


Lamb of God School's Service Project

...I thought you would enjoy this--enclosed are letters from my students to you. Also, one teacher wrote what our K-8 students gave to the "Beatrice's Goat Service Project" (Bea Project) to the tune of "The 12 Days of Christmas" song. You can sing it easily to the melody of that song. We called it the Beatrice's Goat Service Project, but the money was going to Heifer International for the animals, irrigation pump, tree seedlings and honeybees. Click the title of this story to read more!


A Student Initiative to Better a Community

An idea proposed by senior Khiabeth Burgos-Gomez to help out the community turned into a Google document filled with ideas. Junior Annette Shukaitis offered the idea of collecting money to donate to Heifer International to get a goat. Her idea was based on personal experience. “Two years ago my grandparents decided that, instead of buying all the grandchildren expensive Christmas presents, they would take half of each grandchild’s Christmas money and see how much money they had before donating it to Heifer International and give an animal to a village.” Shukaitis comments, “All of us grandkids thought it was a wonderful idea and on Christmas day we were happy to find out that a family would be receiving a baby goat with our Christmas money.” Click the title of this story to read more about Mr. Healey's class!

The Sahel

Field Update: Empowerment and Collaboration

A timeframe of about a month is given to the communities to absorb, reflect, and incubate all the processes they have gone through thus far.

The Sahel

Abdoul and Fatou

Abdoul and Fatou proudly display their certificates after completing the training in Heifer’s holistic community development approach, the 12 Cornerstones.

The Sahel

Field Update: Cornerstones Training

Heifer's Values Based Holistic Community Development (VBHCD) focuses on total community transformation and is grounded in societal values or principles.


Donations in Place of Secret Santa Gifts Generate Enthusiasm and Touch Hearts

After we read the World Ark article “Refuse, Reuse” that explains how animal waste can be turned into usable biogas energy, I challenged the 25 students in my 6th grade class to see if they could raise $50 to provide a biogas stove for a family in need. We agreed that if we collected additional money they could choose an animal to include in their gift. During the three weeks between Thanksgiving students paged through “The Greatest Gift” catalogs I brought to school and the funds trickled in. We decided that instead of spending money on “Secret Santa” gifts, we would give each other handmade cards and donate toward our project. Several families joined in, and our custodian even added a few extra dollars. Excitement grew as we kept track of each new contribution. By the last day of class, we had raised $125 and the class voted to add a flock of chicks and a share of a Knitter’s Basket to the gift of a stove. They also asked if they could keep going and see if they could multiply the remaining $7 to give another gift during the Spring semester. This year’s science curriculum included research on the California Drought and the need for water conservation. We learned that in parts of the world women and girls must walk long distances to get water. We also studied solar energy, made solar ovens, and learned that using solar-powered ovens means that women and girls don’t have to walk long distances to get firewood. Because I’ve been supporting Heifer’s biogas projects for several years, I decided to also introduce the students to this form of alternate energy which improves the lives of women and girls in similar ways. We read the World Ark article to understand how biogas systems work and to learn some fun vocabulary words (fertilizer, slurry, manure, and dung!). But the article went further: it connected my students with the impact of these projects on lives of real people in another country. This touched their hearts. I’m really proud of my students, many of whom struggle academically and/or are still learning English. They are also proud of what they’ve accomplished and are pleased that their small gifts will help improve the lives of struggling families. Submitted by Janet Graff


Proud Aunt Shares Her Giving Story

Dear Heifer, I started a tradition for my family. Two Christmases in a row I ended up in the hospital and I was unable to shop for my family or extended family. That created my tradition; I now mail my gift budget to Heifer and I send Heifer (honor) cards to each extended family member. This year I asked the parents to be sure to let the kids know where their gift went. My nephew really was impressed but thought I should buy a water buffalo. His name is Jasper and he went door to door in his neighborhood and raised $87.00. Because my check had already been mailed his folks mailed it to Heifer and requested it go to education. I was so proud of him! Sincerely, Merodie N. Aunt of Jasper, age 8


A Houston Teacher Spins a Negative into a Positive

Houston is considered the most diverse city in the United States, and our high school reflects that. We are part of a very large urban school district, but we are a small specialized school. We serve young immigrants that have recently arrived in the United States. Many are over age for a traditional school setting, and many come with interrupted education from their home country because of war, gang intimidation or lack of funds. All have landed at our door with the desire to learn English, earn a high school diploma, and improve their lives and those of their families. To learn how these students raised funds for Heifer, please click on the title of this story...


ELI Students Donate to Heifer While Learning More English

UHD’s English Language Institute made a $1,380.00 Christmas donation to Heifer International. ELI students, themselves hailing from all over the world, collected contributions from family, friends, UHD students, faculty and staff. A group of ELI students said, “We never knew that we could do something so wonderful for a village and learn even more English in the process!” With the money collected, ELI students purchased the following gifts: 180 baby chicks, 80 ducklings, 60 goslings, three rabbits, two goats, two sheep, one biogas stone, one water irritation pump, one pig, one llama, and one alpaca. “It was the best Christmas I’ve ever had,” a student said. “It was so exciting to help!” Submitted by Gail Kellersburger


Students Do Chores for a Goat

After reading the book, Beatrice’s Goat, a picture book about a family that receives a goat from Heifer International, our learners were inspired to take action and buy a goat for the cause. We had been discussing the concept of value. We decided that a goat could change a life and that it would be very valuable to another family. I challenged our learners to do chores above and beyond what they have to do normally to earn some money from their parents to donate to our cause. We set up a fundraising thermometer in our room and watched the money come in. Our families sent in pictures of their children doing their chores. We raised the $120 for the goat and more still came in so we bought a flock of chicks as well! We were excited to take action and be a part of this project. Submitted by Jacquie G.


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