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.
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I love to ride my bicycle. In April 2012, I was involved in a serious crash in a bicycle race. It was a long recovery, but I am extremely thankful to be doing so well. To express my gratitude, I have a special project for 2013 called "A Year of Centuries". I am riding one century (100 miles in a single bicycle ride) each month. Each century highlights a charitable organization that is particularly meaningful to me. As a longtime supporter, I am so pleased to be riding on behalf of Heifer International for December.
What do you give someone who is 94 years old, has lived a very full life, downsized her home of 51 years and moved to a small, assisted-living apartment? And since that someone, as in my mother's case, is an individual who has spent much of her life giving to others, the gift of a goat from Heifer International would be perfectly appropriate! I am well known in my family for coming up with poems for special occasions, so of course it was expected that I would write one to accompany this gift.
On Sunday November 17th, Linda McBee and I had the pleasure of going to Fort Bragg to present the pastor, Dan Fowler, and his congregation, with an Ark Plaque for their generous donation of $8,000 for a goat project in Nduma near Nairobi Africa. We were warmly welcomed by the church members and were each given a gift of a jar of ingredients to make a winter bean soup.
The Xi Kappa Omega Chapter, of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, recently partnered with Heifer International for a reading of the children’s book Beatrice’s Goat in Oxnard, California. Beatrice’s Goat is based on Beatrice Biira’s real life story of how her life changed after her family received the gift of a goat from Heifer International.
Cows are so awesome. And we’re not just saying that because we are called Heifer International. Here, we’ve long held the idea that animals, as just one of the things that Heifer provides to families, should always provide “7 M’s” so that they’re truly transformative for those we support. Heifer developed the idea of 7 M’s many years ago to help more simply explain how an animal can be a catalyst for so much change. It sounds sort of weird, but it works, and has for nearly 70 years.
Paula and Camila Rojas just moved to South Africa from Colombia. Although they’re still getting a feel for the South African environment and change in curriculum, the sisters embarked on their own campaign to raise awareness and funds for Heifer South Africa after they heard about Heifer through the Read to Feed program at their school.
Regine Ndjiwo, 55, and Justine Passo, 50, are members of Heifer projects in the western region of Cameroon, a little over nine miles from Heifer’s office in Bamenda. They are part of GIC APEB (Groupe d’Initiative Commune d’Apiculture et Eleveurs de Bamepah) created in Bamepah Village.
Our Christian Education students of Saint Ann's Episcopal Church of Sayville, NY hosted our first Outreach Mission Project. After several weeks of discussing Heifer International in Sunday school, the younger students choose its animal of choice, a Llama, as its goal purchase.
In 2011, my friend Julie and I had a year full of grief, frustration, and unwelcome drama. It was one emotional disaster after another. At the end of that year, we decided to change our focus to helping others. We committed to raise $5000 to "build an ark" for Heifer International to provide livestock and training for struggling families worldwide.
My name is Zhenya. I am from the Kirants community of Armenia. I am 14. I attend the Heifer youth club in our village. In 2012, I developed a business plan that was approved by Heifer Armenia, and I received a small youth grant to realize my business plan. Heifer gave me 40,000 Armenian drams (about $100) as a youth business start-up.
I remember the first time I heard of Heifer International. I was sitting in a Peace Corps van, driving through the streets of Thies, the second largest city in Senegal. Two of my fellow volunteers started excitedly chattering as we passed a sign. They slapped on the window and shrieked at each other. I didn’t really understand the excitement, but I noted the sign, a cow jumping over the word “Heifer”. At the moment, it didn’t mean much to me, but looking back on that moment, it was the start to something amazing.
Meet Stanislaw Debert; at the end of 1945, Mr. Debert was the recipient of one of the 150 heifers sent by the Heifer Project to Poland on the SS Santiago Iglesias. In early October, I had the good fortune to sit and talk with him, his wife, and a daughter in their home near Gdansk about what that heifer meant to them. At the end of World War II when Europe was seething with displaced persons, Mr. Debert arrived in the area of Gdansk. He fled from Kielce on the roof of a train car with only the clothes he was wearing...
I recently played the music for a retreat Mass at a nearby Catholic parish. I received a very generous, and totally unexpected, gift card in the mail from the church secretary, Geralyn, to thank me for my music...
Valerik Khachatryan is a skillful tailor. He is famous in his village for his beautiful work. When he is not busy sewing or tailoring, he does small-scale farming. His family, which includes his wife Amalya, daughter Zhanna, 16, and son Vanik, 13, owns two calves, six hens, 10 chickens and a small pool with carp fish. Valerik dreams of growing their family farm.
Two years ago, Heifer International’s partner, IDEAS, was promoting a livelihoods project in a community in Peru. The project, Building Sustainable Livelihoods in Piura's Dry Forest Community, was an opportunity that 42-year-old Maria Esmelda decided she couldn’t pass up, so she signed up. Esmelda recounts her experience as a participant...
Winnifred Senn of Walnut Creek, California celebrated her 100th birthday on October 10, 2013. In honor of this special milestone, an Elderly Wish Foundation was contacted to grant Winnifred (Winn) a special wish. When asked what she might want, Winn replied that she would like a cow to be given to another family through Heifer International...
Celebrating Passing on the Gift at Concepción de María In early October 2013, the small village of Concepción de María, nestled in the mountain crevices of Honduras, bustled with activity. More than 60 families were gathered at the corner of the local soccer field to celebrate another round of Passing on the Gift. The crew included leaders of the local community, Heifer partners and staff, and joyous family members ready to pass on gifts of calves and chickens. With the lime green mountains acting as the backdrop and silent witness, one-by-one, families took center stage and passed on the same kinds of gifts they had received two years before.
Nikhil Chetty, a grade two learner at Crawford Preparatory School in La Lucia, South Africa has always participated actively in the Read to Feed Program. His passion for the program and determination to help end hunger and poverty is an incredible affirmation of Heifer’s belief that young people have the power to change the world.
Picture seven tall kitchen waste baskets full of used, empty bottles and cans. It looks like a pile of junk! That is, unless your name is Shea Berry. With many of the bottles and cans carrying coding for refundable recycling, Shea recognized their true value.
Site Bushal is telling a group of visitors how she has benefitted from a community transformation that resulted in a group spirit of Sharing and Caring.
We held a Pancake Supper at our church to raise funds and awareness of Heifer. The children learned about what Heifer does, designed posters, and came up with fun ideas including having a pancake race. In addition...
I had the pleasure of attending Heifer International's Gifts in the Garden event as a volunteer with a group from Oglethorpe University. I, along with my fellow Oglethorpe Petrels, had a fantastic time.
My wife and I have just returned from a Heifer Project study trip to Ecuador. We have long been friends of Heifer and we have now seen first hand the ongoing response to human need in which Heifer is engaged.
In 2011 I received paper work in the mail explaining the Heifer Mission. This was a mission I believe in. I was so impressed that I decided to make a $10.00 monthly donation to Heifer...
What happens when a very local, grassroots organization (the Wylde Center- Oakhurst Community Garden in Decatur, Georgia) collaborates with an international nonprofit like Heifer International (you all know who Heifer is!)? Add goats, chickens, a full-petting zoo area, face painting and music from local bands, including a 'Kid Band' called Route 41 to other educational tables telling the story of Heifer and, Voila...