Heifer International partnered with Bill Gates last year on an exciting project called Coop Dreams that provided chickens to families in need. Here is an update on the project’s progress:
Coop Dreams was launched in June 2016 when Bill Gates explained on his personal blog why he believes people living in extreme poverty are better off if they have chickens. The post included an online trivia game about poultry for his readers. For each correct answer, he donated money for Coop Dreams and eventually raised $100,000. The funds were provided to Heifer International to implement the project.
Cambodia was determined to be the best location for the project because Gates and Heifer both work in the country and many families were ready to receive the chickens. Flocks with 30 birds were initially provided to 380 families, which also received business training, veterinary services, improved housing for the chickens and training in poultry production and management. When the chickens began producing offspring, each family agreed to share 30 chicks with another family. Heifer calls this Passing on the Gift® – a key component of the nonprofit’s model. The sharing creates an empowering ripple effect, transforming the receiver of aid to a donor and exponentially increasing the gift’s impact. So far, 830 families have received chickens. The project plans to have five cycles of sharing, with 2,280 families expected to receive birds when the initiative ends in June 2018.
The Little Rock-based nonprofit is working to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For more than 70 years, the organization has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer works in 26 countries, including the U.S., to help families and communities become more self-reliant. By 2020, Heifer seeks to help 4 million families achieve living incomes, which will allow them to feed their families daily, educate their children, and have proper housing, water, hygiene and other essential resources. For information, visit Heifer.org, read our blog, follow us on Facebook, on Twitter or call 888.5HUNGER (888.548.6437).