Introducing our charity sponsor for the Tenacious Ten: Heifer International
Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Heifer provides livestock, seeds, resources and training to improve the lives of families who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Communities are transformed through the empowerment of women, access to markets and environmental restoration.
Heifer’s 2020 goal: helping 4 million families achieve living incomes in order to be truly resilient.
Overall Numbers: Since 1944, Heifer has helped 31 million families, directly and indirectly, move toward greater self-reliance through the gift of livestock and training in environmentally sound agriculture.
Fiscal Year 2016: Heifer assisted more than 3.6 million families directly and indirectly in 28 countries.
Animals Given: Alpaca, camels, chickens, donkeys, ducks, fish, geese, goats, grasscutters, heifer, honeybees, guinea pigs, pigs, horses, llamas, rabbits, sheep, snails, turkeys, water buffalos, yaks and worms. Heifer also provides tree seedlings and seeds.
Women’s Empowerment – Heifer believes no development strategy is more beneficial to society than one that involves women as central players. Heifer projects work to increase women’s decision-making power and control of assets. This is done through self-help groups that build leadership, literacy, financial planning and other skills.
Passing on the Gift is the heart of Heifer’s work. Every family who receives an animal, seeds, seedlings, assets or training is committed to pass on animal offspring or assets to another family in need, along with the training and skills they have acquired. This unique approach creates a ripple effect that transforms lives and communities and, at a minimum, doubles the impact of the original gift.
Climate Smart – A healthy natural environment is necessary to enable sustainable development. Heifer improves the environment by promoting agroecological practices and natural resource management. This includes reforestation, composting, intercropping, soil conservation, biodiversity, renewable energy such as solar and biogas, improved cook stoves, wastewater treatment, and zero-grazing.
In addition, Heifer increases resiliency through Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction, that enables families in high-risk countries like the Philippines, Nepal and Guatemala, to bounce back from natural disasters that are increasing with climate change.
Heifer’s model is like the proverb:
Give a man to fish, he can eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he can eat for a lifetime.
Heifer provides a hand-up, not a hand-out.
The 7 M’s of livestock represent the valuable benefits that animals supply to people:
Milk, Manure, Meat, Muscle, Money, Materials and Motivation.
A cup of milk or one egg a day can greatly improve a child’s development and ability to fight illness.
Bees pollinate fruits and vegetables, as much as doubling a farmer’s yield.
Water buffalos plow hills and mud that would stall a tractor – plus they don’t require gasoline!
If women in agriculture had the same access to resources as men, 100-150 million people could be lifted out of poverty.