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 20 countries.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Dear Heifer International, Enclosed are multiple checks for Heifer International. Thank you for allowing us to extend a helping hand. The kids in Science Hill Friends Sunday School class, grades four through six, wanted to make a difference in the world, if only a small one. This year, instead of exchanging gifts with each other, we chose to raise money for Heifer International. The class wanted to raise enough money to purchase a cow for a family in need. They all agreed theyw ould not receive a gift from their teacher and vise versa and their project would be funded with that money. They made pottery plates and filled them with homemade cookies and designed a tee shirt ("Because I gave up one Christmas gift a family is able to eat for a month!"). Pottery plates/cookies and tee shirts were sold for $10 each. One hundred percent of the proceeds were donated to Heifer International. Our church, Science Hill Friends agreed to match whatever we raised. We raised $560.00, therefore there are check enclosed totaling $1,120.00. We appreciate this opportunity to learn, share and be grateful. Thank you! Friends, Haven, Hgnat, Kara, Kaley, Annabelle, Silas, Mackenzie & Tammy Submitted by Tammy G.
Submitted by Lucy | Age 8 | Massachusetts | "I am 8 years old. I am happy that some people will get to have chicks and animals and then more and more people can live well and have enough to eat."
In 1969 Ralph Barnes, from Chatham, IL, a farmer and coordinator for Heifer International, called Austin Hulcher to see if he would take a load of cattle/heifers, to Miami, FL. Since the 1,400-mile trip would be non-stop, Austin called his good friend, Bud King, to help drive the truck. This trip meant loading up the heifers into a double decker trailer. The 47 heifers were chosen from prize winners at county fairs and the Illinois State Fair. Each of the heifers weighed between 600-800 pounds and were among prize winning stock. The cowboys were told the heifers would help to upgrade the stock in Bolivia, South America, where the cattle were pretty scrawny... Click the title of this story to read more!
Submitted by Michelle | Age 8 | Colorado
I received a Heifer catalog in the mail in October. I was struck with the idea of blessing a family on the other side of the world that I would never meet with a Christmas gift that could positively impact their lives; and I liked the idea of giving an actual animal--in my suburban Chicago life that is not the kind of gift we are accustomed to giving. I brought up the idea to my co-workers in the Palos Community Hospital Surgery and PACU departments and my fellow nurses, aides, supervisors, secretaries, and pharmacists all grabbed onto it and ran with it. Each payday we reminded each other to put aside just a little towards our goal of giving a Christmas cow. We kept a running tab of our donations on our “Heifer-ometer” in our staff lounge, and little by little we approached our goal. We passed the $500 mark in early December and my co-workers wanted to do more: “How much is a sheep--they give milk and wool, and how about chickens?” They just never stopped giving, and by Christmas we had decided to give a cow, sheep, pig, and 5 flocks of chicks with the $840 we all donated. I know that the world is a crazy place and that I can do little to change the violence that is so often in the news, but I couldn’t help but feel a little hope and joy that a bunch of unrelated people, who at times don’t even get along with each other, could come together and plant a little bit of peace in the world and do something together that we couldn’t accomplish individually. I was proud to be a part of it. May it continue in each of us. Rick Hultgen, RN Palos Community Hospital Surgery Department
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
Submitted by Sara | Age 8 | Colorado
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.
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
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
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!
Submitted by Emery and Tatum | Ages 2 1/2 and 5 | Virginia
Submitted by Emery and Tatum | Ages 2 1/2 and 5 | Virginia
A landscape of the region was completed with a focus on the first prototype location. We asked a few key questions: Who is helping communities in the Sahel region of Senegal? What are they doing to help them? Is it working? Why? Is it not working? Why not?
A complete landscape of the region was completed with a focus on the first prototype location by asking a few key questions: Who is helping communities in the Sahel? What are they doing to help them? Is it working? Why? Is it not working? Why not?