Heifer supporter Justin Chang lives in Korea, but his heart is in Nepal. A high school student at Seoul International School, Chang joined the mission to end hunger and poverty six years ago when he and his classmates began raising money for Heifer International.
Chang visited Nepal on a mountain climbing expedition only months before the 2015 earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people. Chang reacted by launching a fundraiser, and in July 2016 he traveled back to the recovering countryto deliver a $5,000 check to Heifer Nepal.
Chang, his mother, Haewon Lee, and a friend recently visited Heifer Nepal for a second time. Chang met the country office team and presented a check for approximately $7,000, which he raised through his Read to Feed project Hope for Nepal. About 360 of his fellow students participated in the fundraiser.
“Everyone in my school wants to help Nepal," Chang said. "They know where the money is going and how families are supported by Heifer. My visit to Heifer project areas last year has helped a lot in fundraising this year.”
Chang and his team traveled to the Deurali, Nawalparasi, project area where they visited with the Sangam self-help group and Lekhbesi Social Entrepreneur Women’s Cooperative. They were in awe of the achievements and rural lifestyle of the people. The Sangam self-help group expressed their sincerest gratitude for Chang's fundraising efforts and said his visit motivated them to continue being a generous and supportive community.
During their visit, Lee recalled Heifer helping families in her country during the Korean War. "The Egglift project pulled many Koreans out of poverty," she said. "I hope Heifer Nepal will also help many others out of hunger and poverty."
Additionally, Chang distributed Girl Child Education materials, which support keeping girls enrolled in school. Local families often struggle to educate their children due to the lack of school supplies and low income. Chang and his team expressed the importance of education, especially among girls.
Chang and Lee hope to visit next year with more friends. But for now, they will remember the inspiring families they met and continue supporting Heifer's mission.