Following the small concrete path, we were surprised to see a lively painted thatched house peacefully surrounded by green paddy field, pig pen, hen house and garden of flowers. Mrs. Nguyen Thi Lien, the houseowner, welcomed us with her warm smile. Aged 41, Lien is one of 20 self-help group members of the project “Improving the disadvantageous farm households’ capacity in Tra Vinh Province through VBHCD.” She is married to Mr. Nguyen Van Nhut, aged 39. They have one child named Nguyen Minh Du who is in grade 9. After marriage, the couple was given a 2,000 square meter paddy field from their parents. Working hard on rice farming and selling their labor in their spare time for several years, the couple afforded an additional 10,000 square meter paddy field by their savings.
Receiving one heifer and training from Heifer Vietnam, Lien was enlightened. She learned how to take care of her family in a better way and successfully applied modern production techniques. Raising a large swine heard, she built a concrete pig pen and set up a water system to bathe the pigs for more convenience. She also created a recordbook to keep track of every pig’s health. She learned how to make a nutrition cake and to store straw for the cow. Furthermore, she grows grass and green vegetables around the house for a stable food source for the animals for lower expenses and better animal nutrition; for low expense and animal food security. In addition, she finds that making an action plan plays a key role in the goal of ending poverty. Thanks to applying new techniques in animal production, her pigs are very healthy and make a good profit for her family despite the plague in her neighborhood.
Through the 12 Cornerstones training, her family learned many useful things such as improved nutrition of family meals, sharing and caring among members in the family, the importance of children’s education, and full participation in every group activity. With the activeness and enthusiasm in group activities, she was voted as the leader of her self-help group. By leading her family with the guide of the 12 Cornerstones, her family is full of warmth, caring and happiness. The family business has made good progress thanks to a well-organized production plan. The relationship between her family and neighbors is stronger by the spirit of caring and sharing which is demonstrated by a practical action of sharing some fish after every catch she has.
Since taking part in the project, there have been some good changes in her family. She spends the increasing income on family expenses like meals, daily consumption and her son’s education. She also invests in new crops and keeps savings for house repairs. The family atmosphere is cozy. The couple discusses and supports each other in farming, house chores and business, while the son helps his parents tend the cow and collect grass and vegetables for the pigs. Nhut supports and motivates Lien to join group activities. As a result, she has gained self-confidence and activeness to speak out in front of the crowd and raise her own ideas of every issue. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the donors for giving us both physical and spiritual strength in order for us to achieve a better life today. Heifer has helped improve our source of income and enabled us to make plans for our goals, to envision for our future, and more importantly, I am a person of self-confidence and hopefulness.” said Lien.
The end of hunger isn’t a fairy tale
Welcome to the Heifer family. Donors, volunteers, recipients and our teams around the world share a common goal: To end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. It’s a lofty goal, but we know it's achievable. Together we are the family that can create this change.
Together we can make cows fly
See stories of how lives are being transformed around the globe through Heifer's work in more than 40 countries.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
At the beginning of April Heifer International's Public Relations Manager received 12 "letters of gratitude" from students at Yarmouth High School in Maine. Not wanting them to go unnoticed, she passed them along to When Cows Fly. Reading through each letter, we were compelled to learn more about the project. Here are some excerpts from the letters we received...
We first heard about Heifer International in middle school, but it wasn't until our senior year of high school we researched this organization more. We wanted to share our story to show that ANYONE can make a difference!
As part of Heifer International's kid-friendly honor card competition, we received Bailey's beautiful drawing. Thank you, Bailey!
West Virginia student, Austin, sent us this beautiful, serene drawing of a world without hunger. Thank you, Austin!
Emma, a student in West Virginia, graciously shared this drawing with Heifer International as a part of our kid-friendly honor card contest. Thank you, Emma!
Heifer International would like to thank Duke, an elementary school student in West Virginia, for sharing his hope for a world without hunger!
It was an incredible thing to watch my students (6-7 years old) eagerly doing jobs at home to earn money for the cause. I had one child who even gave up his tooth money that he was going to use to buy himself a toy...
Our class of first, second and third graders, called the Acacia Class, has earned $182.00 from a special bake sale. We were selling baked goods and were selling for four days...
What fun we had in Sunday School raising money for 3 Little Pigs for Heifer International during Lent this year! We are a small church, so our goal was to raise money for one pig but our colorful piggy banks inspired many givers. Each Sunday School student painted a small piggy bank and we lined them up under a bulletin board display featuring pigs colored by children of all ages. Even visitors were moved to give! Thank you for this opportunity, Heifer International!
Today's my 40th birthday and I've been raising money for your organization through a Pay It Forward site. I just realized it would be cool for you to know! My goal is $1,000 to be split between you and a local cat rescue organization. I'm 27% there and am hoping more people donate before Saturday.
In July of 2014, the Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church in Pensacola, FL put together their time and effort to raise funds for Heifer International. The first paragraph of their initial fundraiser flier used to call congregants to give reads: "Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church are committed to helping others by extending a hand up rather than a handout. Their goal is to collect $5,000 to fill an ark for Heifer International in the month of July."
This idyllic drawing was sent to us by Marshall, a young Pennsylvanian Heifer supporter. We thank you for sharing your artistry with Heifer, Marshall!
When Cows Fly: Early in 1976 I learned about Heifer International and thought it sounded like an outstanding organization. To become involved, I decided to produce an afternoon musical. Along with other volunteer musicians, we presented our "Goat Concert" in May of that year. We raised $160--enough to send two goats! I am very fortunate in having abundance to share and am still able to support Heifer by donating a goat and some chicks each year. Thank you for helping me do that. Sincerely, Carol King PS: Enclosed is a photo of me singing in our "Goat Concert" in 1976.)
I first heard about Heifer in the late 90's when I had graduated from Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine and was practicing as a mixed-animal veterinarian in central Pennsylvania. (I am originally from Selma, Alabama.) One day as I was traveling my route doing my scheduled herd checks, checking cows for pregnancy, I noticed that farm after farm had missing farmers. This really was strange because my farmers hardly ever went on vacation. I finally asked where everyone was and was told that they had accompanied a shipment of heifers overseas for a group called Heifer International...
Olivia Demberg, a young Heifer International supporter, recently sent the following letter to Heifer CEO Pierre Ferrari detailing a project proposal that she pitched to ShurTech Brands CEO. Click on the story title to learn more about Olivia's unique and inspiring initiative...
Our students were very honored that they were able to donate money to help others through Heifer International. The boys and girls competed against each other to see who could raise the most money and then we combined it and had the Consumer Math Class find out all the different ways we could spend the funds. The students enjoyed themselves and were pleasantly surprised when they got the box of pencils and pins. It was a very kind gesture and the students still continue to brag about how wonderful they think the pencils are. Enclosed is a group picture of the students who donated. Thank you again. Melissa King, OCA Teacher
Dear Heifer International, Thank you for all you do. It is amazing how your charity helps so many people in the world. I always send my tzadaka to you. Sincerely, Jasmyn
"My 9-year old daughter, Anabeth, was inspired by a story she read in school where a young girl's family received a goat. That family sold the goat's milk and it allowed the young girl to attend school. After reading the story, Anabeth came home and found Heifer International. She browsed through the pages until she decided that she wanted to raise $500 on her own to buy a heifer. She took all of her birthday money, scrounged up all the change in the house, called family and friends, asked church members and even spent a Sunday selling lemonade and tea to raise the $500 she needed in less than two weeks! Donations came pouring in when people heard about what she was doing. Today, we were able to purchase the heifer for her. We are so proud of her and the impact she has made on our community." After checking in with Anabeth's mom, she replied with an incredible update on Friday, March 20, 2015! "Also, since I emailed, I wanted to let you know that she has officially earned an excess of $150 above her goal! Now that she has purchased her heifer, she is going to purchase a goat and some chicks after school today. She is very excited. She has also inspired at least three other kids in her class who are saving for water buffaloes and heifers as we speak."
At the beginning of March 2015, Heifer International received a flier from Kate Prominski and Betsy Svanda, 7th grade Social Studies teachers in Michigan. The adorable flier detailed a fundraiser that they hosted with their students. It reads: "The Lakewood 7th grade Social Studies class has been studying Africa and feel compelled to raise funds for the Heifer Project. Heifer International is a global non-profit with the goal of ending poverty and hunger in a sustainable fashion. Our goal is to raise $620, which will buy two water buffalos ($500) and a pig ($120). The coins will be collected until Friday, February 13th!" After reaching out to Kate, we discovered that this wasn't the first time they had hosted this fundraiser. She shared that the Coins for Cows fundraiser is an annual event for the 7th grade Social Studies teachers. A few years ago their students were so enthusiastic that they were able to raise over $1,000! Kate went on to say: "Betsy and I put together a funny video of us finding change in different places in order to encourage the kids to donate. We kept a daily total and challenged the students each day by showing them an inspirational video found on YouTube from Heifer. Every student who donated was able to sign our 'Heifer' poster. By the end of the fundraiser, our poster was filled with almost a hundred names of students who made this fundraiser a success. We are proud to say our students exceeded our goal and raised over $624." Kate ended her email thanking Heifer for all that we do, but truly, from the bottoms of our hearts, we want to thank those 7th grade Social Studies students for so enthusiastically supporting Heifer's mission!
Dear Heifer International, We are a class at a school in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Every month we sell coffee and cookies at a cafe we have named the Wildcat Cafe. We use the money we make to go on field trips, buy things for our classroom and for special projects. This month we decided to donate part of the money we made to your organization. Our class voted and decided to buy a hive of honeybees for someone in need. We are happy to see the money we earned put to good use. Sincerely, Ms. Steinke, Ms. Rodeman, Mrs. Welch, Mrs. Surtees, Ellen, Melissa, Desmon, Brendan, Brandon and Abbe
I'm happy to enclose a check for $200 raised by our first grade students through a cookie sale and family donations! Our students were very enthusiastic in the roles they played to help purchase animals for needy families. Their awareness of the needs of others was heightened and the realization that children can make a difference in our big world was made clear. I've included a picture of three of our students with our learning fair display. Thank you for your assistance with our project! Sincerely, Mary Smith
Dear Heifer International, I really enjoyed doing this project to help kids in need. We raised $835.00. With that money we bought four animals and two items. We even had money left over. I think more kids should do this project. What if it was you that would be able to go to school or to get a goat? You would be very excited. I like helping kids in need. That's what I like about this project. It gives kids the opportunity to have a pet or go to school. Thank you. Sincerely, H.E.S.
Dear Heifer International, I hope that the 4th grade's purchase of a water buffalo, an irrigation pump, sending a girl to school, a goat, a flock of chickens, ducks and geese really help a family. What I really like is that the gift of the animals purchased aren't just going to be used for one family, but it's a gift that keeps on giving. I look forward to knowing that a family has been changed! I really hope this will make a difference in a family! Sincerely, Maisy
Maeve, Heifer International would like to thank you for sharing your idea of a world without hunger!
In June of 2014, Heifer International received the featured letters from a classroom of second graders in California. Along with these letters was a very generous donation towards a Flock of Hope, raised at their school's annual Spring Fling. Their letters read...