Heifer International - How it Works


Learn About What We Do

Goats and bees and water buffalo are useful — but there’s more to our success! Learn more about the ways Heifer makes a difference in the communities where we work through value chains, women's empowerment and more. 

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We work to connect farmers with value chains that provide an increase in income. Multiplied by strong social capital and women’s empowerment, our work results in a sustainable solution to world hunger and poverty. Heifer’s practice of Passing on the Gift® transforms recipients into donors and helps build strong, resilient communities.

Full Description

Heifer 101: Describes the basics of Heifer’s history, approach and practices; Gives stories from Senegal, Cambodia and Nepal, as well as historical documents from Heifer’s early days.

Passing on the Gift: Explores Heifer’s signature practice of Passing on the Gift; Gives stories from Honduras, Zambia, Nepal, Zimbabwe; Activities and videos help students investigate the impact of Passing on the Gift.

Women’s Empowerment: Explains research about the impact of women on farming/agriculture. Describes how Heifer projects are structured to empower women and girls; Gives stories from India, Nepal, Rwanda, Haiti, Peru.

Value chains: Defines and explains value chains and how they fit into Heifer’s work; Gives stories from East Africa (dairy development), Central America (cardamom growers cooperative), South America (chocolate farmers; acai in the Amazon)

Social capital: Defines and explains social capital, how it plays out in our lives and in the lives of Heifer project participants; Gives stories from Vietnam, Nicaragua, Kenya and United States. Rich discussion questions allow students to examine how they use social capital.

Natural Disaster Preparedness & Recovery: Shares examples of the local and organizational preparation for and response when disasters strike Heifer projects; Gives stories from Malawi, Haiti, Nepal, Guatemala, Ecuador, Philippines.  Includes examples and information about how organizations can learn and change based on lessons learned from disaster response. 

In this Guide:

  • Heifer 101
  • Passing on the Gift®
  • Women’s Empowerment
  • Social Capital
  • Value Chains
  • Natural Disaster Preparedness & Recovery

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