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 42-year old Maria Esmelda decided she couldn’t pass up, so she signed up.
Esmelda recounts her experience as a participant, “The first workshop I attended was about sheep. I learned about the diseases of sheep and how to care for them. After participating in the project for several months, I received five sheep. It was a beautiful experience receiving the sheep and taking care of them. I was very happy because I knew that eventually, after a lot of hard work, I would be able to share this gift that was given to me. I passed on six sheep and I kept my original five sheep. I sold the male offspring and kept the females to continue breeding them. Occasionally, I will sell a female sheep if we have a desperate need for money. For example, when the rice harvest was coming in and we didn’t have money to pay our workers, we sold a female and paid the workers.”
Esmelda’s enthusiasm led her to more workshops. After attending a goat workshop, she received five goats. She also participated in an organic fertilizer workshop and now grows beets, carrots and cabbage in her vegetable garden. She learned the health benefits of the vegetables at a nutrition workshop and now makes sure her family has plenty of vegetables to eat. “At home, our nutrition has improved,” she said. “My children have a better diet and I am confident that we will have vegetables to eat. Since I grow the vegetables, I know that they are organic and do not have any contaminants that will harm my children.”
Esmelda’s family supports her involvement in the project. Her children even helped her create an irrigation system for the garden. Esmelda and her husband always talk about new varieties of vegetables that can be grown on their land. She is excited about all of the skills she has received through the workshops and training. She looks to the future where she will continue to gain knowledge and have the chance to pass it on to others who are in need.
- Jessica Ford
The end of hunger isn’t a fairy tale
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Two teams of cyclists are traversing two different continents all for the same cause: ending hunger and poverty. Click the title of this story to read more...
It’s not every day you hear of 4th graders learning the value of economics. But when Heifer International received a $480 donation along with a letter referencing “mini-society business sessions” taking place during 4th graders’ economic studies, we were intrigued. Click the title of this story to read more...
I am a woman among women, and my family is well respected in the villageGagnessiri Ndiaye, http://tinyurl.com/qhbuvnn
My name is Rebecca and I am from Lincoln Middle School in Meriden, CT. I am writing on behalf of my 7th grade team who worked at collecting money for your organization. My Social Studies teacher received your letter in the mail about donating to farms in East Africa and then gave us background on your organization because she uses your foundation herself. She then encouraged donations, even if it was just a penny. To read more, please click on the title of this story...
On 13 July 2015, Ladd, Illinois, a town of 1,300, celebrated its 125th anniversary. We had an outdoor mass and the collection of $845 was designated for Heifer International. We reflected that the early, immigrant settlers made it possible for us to have what we have today. We felt this was a small way we could share with others and give the gift that keeps on giving.
The students at Clementine Montessori School in Philadelphia, PA have been learning about the work of Heifer International all year. We've read books about worms and chickens, about Beatrice's goat, about good gardens and cows. We tasted honey when we studied how bees help people, drank goat's milk and ate goat cheese, cleaned alpaca fleece and learned big words, like "sustainability" and "faith." Click the title of this story to read more...
As an Orthodox Jewish school, we consider tzedekah or charity to be a mitzvah or good deed. Considering this, it is not surprising that the vast majority of my students care deeply about their involvement in the Read to Feed program and remain committed to Heifer's mission to end world hunger and poverty. Click the title of this story to read more...
For the second straight year, our children at Brookhaven Elementary School have taken on the challenge of raising funds for Heifer International. We "upped the ante" by making the teacher from the top fundraising class "Kiss the Cow" at our annual Spring Carnival. Click the title of this story to read more...
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.African Proverb
One woman told us that owning cows has made her as strong as a man.Wendi Aarons
Throughout the 2014-15 school year, students at Saint Paul United Church of Christ in New Bremen, OH decided to raise funds for Heifer International. Click the title of this story to read more...
After cruising around for a bit and enjoying the beautiful scenery and wildlife, our captain docked the boat and told us all we could jump in and swim. Almost everyone from the group immediately sprinted to the side and cannonballed into the water like it was Caddy Day at Bushwood Country Club and they were allowed just 15 minutes to have fun before the Baby Ruth appeared. It was pretty great. I didn’t join them. Instead, I stood on the deck waving and smiling at everyone in the gorgeous water, and quickly decided it wasn’t something I could do.
Friends, I'm happy to report that found light in Malawi. There is light and colour everywhere. The women wear vibrant colours and patterns, and at every stop, our hosts greeted us with exuberant song and dance.
"Watching [Cindy] in this moment was the link between putting a check into an envelope and seeing how every donation matters." -Meredith Walker