Projects & Families

Donations in Place of Secret Santa Gifts Generate Enthusiasm and Touch Hearts

After we read the World Ark article “Refuse, Reuse” that explains how animal waste can be turned into usable biogas energy, I challenged the 25 students in my 6th grade class to see if they could raise $50 to provide a biogas stove for a family in need. We agreed that if we collected additional money they could choose an animal to include in their gift. During the three weeks between Thanksgiving students paged through “The Greatest Gift” catalogs I brought to school and the funds trickled in. We decided that instead of spending money on “Secret Santa” gifts, we would give each other handmade cards and donate toward our project. Several families joined in, and our custodian even added a few extra dollars. Excitement grew as we kept track of each new contribution. By the last day of class, we had raised $125 and the class voted to add a flock of chicks and a share of a Knitter’s Basket to the gift of a stove. They also asked if they could keep going and see if they could multiply the remaining $7 to give another gift during the Spring semester. This year’s science curriculum included research on the California Drought and the need for water conservation. We learned that in parts of the world women and girls must walk long distances to get water. We also studied solar energy, made solar ovens, and learned that using solar-powered ovens means that women and girls don’t have to walk long distances to get firewood. Because I’ve been supporting Heifer’s biogas projects for several years, I decided to also introduce the students to this form of alternate energy which improves the lives of women and girls in similar ways. We read the World Ark article to understand how biogas systems work and to learn some fun vocabulary words (fertilizer, slurry, manure, and dung!). But the article went further: it connected my students with the impact of these projects on lives of real people in another country. This touched their hearts. I’m really proud of my students, many of whom struggle academically and/or are still learning English. They are also proud of what they’ve accomplished and are pleased that their small gifts will help improve the lives of struggling families. Submitted by Janet Graff


HS West Environmental Club Raises Over $3,000 to Help the Impoverished

The Half Hollow Hills High School West Environmental Club is proud to announce that they were able to raise $3,010 to be donated to Heifer International, a nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty and hunger through sustainable, values based holistic community development.

Projects & Families

A Rural Vietnamese Kitchen


Inside the kitchen of Pham Van Hong and Nguyen Thi Phuong in Thoi Thanh Village, Thanh Phu District, Ben Tre Province, Vietnam.

Projects & Families

Uganda Biogas Project Wins “Best Practice” Award


Heifer’s Uganda biogas project eases the workload of rural women and improves their health by providing a safe, renewable and cheap source of fuel.

Projects & Families

Heifer India Leads Rukkhi to a Better Life


“In the last six months, the biggest change has been that from a thatched house. I have been able to build a concrete house.” —Rukkhi Devi

Projects & Families

Heifer China Family Continues Improving Farm and Home


In the time since our last post, Heifer China participant Chang Julan’s family suffered a loss of livestock.

Projects & Families

World's Tiniest Heifer Project


In Chiponde Village, in the brushy savannah of western Malawi, 38-year old Nashoni Zimba is celebrating the success of a local Heifer project in his own small way.