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.
Eli's artwork arrived with this note: "I hope you're happy!" Knowing that someone donated in your name, Eli, has definitely made that donation all the sweeter. Thank you for supporting Heifer International!
My Aunt made a donation in my name as a Christmas present. She knows I like to draw, so thought I should enter the contest to be featured on next year's card! It's so important to help people feed themselves in the long term. Thank you for having a wonderful vision! - Elicia H.
"We excitedly share the amount of a 'Gift Ark' from our 'Joyful Noise' collection! Our congregation supports us as we learn to be God's servants by our participation in the church service with the collection of their coins once a month. We use this offering as an on-going service project to help those in need. Thank you for accepting our gift to support your mission! The children of Glossbrenner United Methodist Church"
For Christmas, Audra's grandparents donated a hive of bees in her honor. When Audra sent Heifer International her drawing, she included the note that her grandparents had written to her. A portion of their sweet note reads, "This is from us to you and you to them. Now that family is lucky, too." To Audra and her grandparents: Your generous, giving spirits mean so much to everyone at Heifer but, most importantly, they mean everything to the recipients of your donation. Together, we have power over poverty.
"The young ladies in my 4th and 5th grade Sunday School class raised this money as a Fall project at Charity UMC. We did a modified Read to Feed program using the book Once There Was and Was Not. The girls hosted a lasagna dinner on November 12th and distributed Arks to the adult Sunday school classes. The girls were very enthusiastic about the project and got the church behind them. They did presentations on Sunday morning and to the adult classes. Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place."
"Hello, This was drawn by my 10-year old daughter, Sarah. We've 'received' the Heifer gift for many years from my best friend, Andrew. This is the first year that Sarah truly understands the benevolence of what Heifer International is all about. Thank you! David S."
Many thanks to Kairi, one of Heifer International's young supporters, for the beautiful artwork!
About mid-December Heifer International received a generous donation from New Freedom in Christ Church, located in South Dakota. Along with their donation, they included the featured photo and the following letter. We hope you find it as inspiring as we did!
What does Caitlin see when she pictures a world without hunger? A happily roaming cow. We fully agree with your vision, Caitlin! Thank you for sharing your artwork with everyone at Heifer International and all of our supporters.
This kid-friendly honor card artwork was submitted by Franchesca, a 2nd grade support of Heifer International's mission. As a result of her family's generous donation of three goats, Franchesca wanted us to know that this is what she envisions is a world without hunger--a leaping, happy horse. Thank you for sharing your drawing with Heifer International, Franchesca!
After several months, the 4th - 6th grade Franklin Christian Church Sunday School class reached their fundraising goal! Along with their donation, they sent Heifer International the featured letters thanking Heifer for the work we do. We so impressed by your dedication, Franklin Christian Church, so we thank you for the hard work and dedication to Heifer's mission!
We received Garet's artwork submission with the following statement: "I donated because it was a nice thing to help someone who needs it." A simple and sweet quote that sums up Heifer International's mission in the purest form. Thank you for submitting your artwork, Garet!
When Heifer International received Nate's letter detailing his fundraising experience, we knew we had to share it with our community of donors.
Patrich, a 6th grade student, believes that a world without hunger could be similar to this scene. We at Heifer International think it would be awesome if everyone on the planet was able to indulge in a cookie. Thank you for sharing your artistic talents with us, Patrich!
Michael Henry, a 5th grade supporter of Heifer International, drew this fantastic depiction of what Heifer gifts mean to him. We, too, believe that a world without hunger would look similar to this scene. Anyone fighting hunger is a superhero in Heifer's eyes!
It’s always exciting for Heifer International when we learn about the creative ways our donors are raising funds for our mission. When we caught wind of the innovative fundraising IgnitionCo was pursuing, we had to learn more. Matt Blaisdell, one of a team of three alongside Seth Anthony and Julie Moretti, generously volunteered his time to answer a few questions about their pursuits.
My sons had given a flock of chicks to Heifer International on behalf of their grandmother because she would tell them stories about how she raised chicks on the farm she grew up on in NW Iowa. It brought a huge smile to her face to know that her stories impacted the boys and she was honored by the thoughtful gift. This Christmas the boys have again decided giving through Heifer is a good idea. This time they are giving on behalf of their grandpa. He helped them save a duckling that had fallen into our window well. They named it Oscar and fed it bugs until we could secure a home for it. Now they are donating a flock of ducks and are excited to share this gift with their Grandpa Bob. I appreciate how Heifer helps teach my children not only the value of animals, but how great giving to others feels. Thank you!
Brooke, an 8th grade homeschool student, was recently assigned a community service project with her Civics class. About 4 years ago her family began raising bee colonies, so she decided to take this idea further and fundraise for bees through Heifer International!
When most people think of a child's Christmas wishlist, they envision lists of toys and games and clothing. While Allyson may have written those items on her Christmas wishlist, she included a unique and awesome request: that an animal be sent to a needy family in Africa. When a close family friend saw this request on her list, they immediately thought of Heifer International.
Our stamping group made Heifer International our project for fund raising this year through the First United Methodist Church of Loomis, CA. We decided that we would like to buy a cow for Heifer. However, the goal of raising $500 was larger than we had done in the past. We worked diligently and made enough packets of handmade Christmas cards and, along with selling individual cards as well, were able to raise the necessary funds! We are very proud to be able to bring happiness and support to a needy family who will benefit from your wonderful organization. Thank you for this opportunity to be of help.
This adorable drawing was submitted by Colin, a young Heifer supporter in New Jersey. We want to thank you for taking the time to share your view of Heifer International with us, Colin!
Thuy received the gift of geese and they have been a perfect match on her small farm. The training she received provided essential knowledge in their care.
The chickens her grandmother received made it possible for her to care for Gladys and her 11 cousins who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Emilia is a member of the impoverished Roma community and the chickens her family received are empowering them to overcome the severe discrimination her people face.
Devota has used money from milk sales to send her children to school and diversify her farm by investing in ducks.