Heifer Project International, Inc.

Rating: 3.3 stars   33 reviews

Issues: Animals, Food, International

Location: 1 World Avenue Little Rock AR 72202 USA

Mission:

Heifer International''s mission is to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth using gifts of livestock, seeds, trees and training in sustainable agriculture community development projects to help millions of people become self-reliant. Since 1944, Heifer has helped transform the lives of more than 13 million families (70 million people) by giving them gifts of cows, goats and other livestock. Along with the animals, families receive training in animal care and conservation for environmentally sound agricultural development. There is also training in community development, gender equity, sharing and caring, strategic planning and other subjects as needed, including literacy. The process takes several years and is not declared successful until the community shows sustained improvement in nutrition, income and self-reliance. Each family that receives an animal agrees to Pass on the Gift by sharing the first-born female offspring of their animal with another family in need, so each gift of livestock starts a chain of self-reliance that spreads throughout  entire communities.


Programs:

 The Farmer Organizations Growing Hope project will support 550 families

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Heifer International's goal is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. When I first heard about Heifer International, I read the information, saw the YouTube videos, and participated in a Heifer project at my church. I knew they sponsored projects in the US and abroad. They gave animals to families to improve nutrition and health (such as heifers that provide milk). Part of their program included training for families in animal husbandry before they received the animals. Each family that received animals was expected to "Pass the Gift," or give the first born animal to the next family in need, after training that family in animal husbandry. This all sounds very good and sounds like an organization I could and would willingly support. But I am one of those people who want to know for sure this is what the organization does. So I travelled for 21 day with Heifer International in the Philippines. I met and talked with people in communities with whom Heifer works. I listened to their stories, and I watch the respect they showed to the Heifer workers. I watched the care they gave to their animals and how they taught others to care for the animals, so they would be ready when their animals came to them. And I am here to say that "HEIFER INTERNATIONAL DOES WHAT IT PROFESSES TO DO!" I listened to parents talk about the malnourishment their children suffered before Heifer came into their lives. Parents shared with me how they were able to send their children back to school, because they sold the extra eggs, milk, etc. their family did not use. I guess one farmer truly put it in perspective for me. He said, "If I die, my children will weep. If my water buffalo dies, my children will starve." For me that was the turning point in my relationship with Heifer International. I am now a regular donor and have added Heifer International as a beneficiary in my will. I volunteer for them whenever they need me, working with schools, civic organization, and churches to introduce them to Heifer and / or assist them with their Heifer projects. In my book, HEIFER INTERNATIONAL IS THE REAL THING!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I think the plan they follow works well and I can't think of anything that I would change.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

I would like to respond to the review written in October 2011 from the person who thinks Heifer recipients treat animals as a commodity. They don't sell the animals because they can't feed them. Before they receive an animal from Heifer, they receive training from Heifer about caring for their animals, using the bi-products of the animals (milk, manure, muscle, etc) to bring their families out of hunger and poverty and to educate their children. They have a CAHV worker (Community Animal Health Volunteer) in each community or a nearby community that is trained by help families when their animals become sick, need vaccinations, give birth, etc. They teach families that all members within the family have value and are equal. They sponsor projects for women, who, in many countries, are considered less valuable than men and are not allowed to own land or animals. As far as being a religious based group that inflicts their religious values on the projects' participants, that is not true. They would with community members who are Catholic, Presbyterian, etc., and at no time did I witness Heifer trying to convert the Filipino natives toward any specific religion. That is not the mission of Heifer. Their mission is work with communities to end hunger and poverty and doing it in a manner that cares for the earth. So, before making statements about an organization, especially one that does so much to help millions of people in the US and abroad, you might want to check your information. Having seen Heifer doing their work up close and personal in the Philippines, I know those statements to be untrue. And by the way, their pride in their animals is very apparent. The animals are cleaner than any animals I have seen on farms in NC. I have watched them wash and care for their animals with great compassion. The animals that end up in US supermarkets should be so lucky!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

I became familiar with Heifer International in 2000 when I made a donation to the organization. In 2004 I travelled with several volunteers and staff members to the Philippines to see if Heifer did what it said it did with the funds it received. I visited Heifer projects on the island of Mindanao, Cebu, Bohol, and Luzon. I stayed in project participants' homes and talked to them one on one. I can say, with all confidence, that Heifer International does exactly what it says is its goal: "To end hunger and poverty while taking care of the earth." The project participants were some of the poorest people I have ever met, but they were the first to offer us the best they had to give. One man said some thing to me as he tried to express to me the importance of Heifer in his life and the lives of his family, "If I die, my children will weep. If our water buffalo dies, my children will starve." I will never forget those words and the profound meaning they had for me. I finally understood what Heifer meant to these people and what a change Heifer had made in their lives. I became a volunteer for Heifer in 2004 and have continued my work as a volunteer, speaking at schools and organizations about Heifer international.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I became involved with Heifer Projects International in 2005 when I travelled for 21 days with Heifer in the Philippines. Being my first trip out of the US, I had no idea what to expect. What occurred for me was a life changing experience. I had the opportunity to see Heifer projects in action. I talked to the people participating in the projects and listened to them explain how Heifer had helped them to change their lives and the lives of others in their community. They explained how Heifer had provided them "a hand up, not a hand out" and had equipped them to help other members of their community by "Passing on the Gift" of animals, knowledge, and know-how. One man really put in perspective for me what Heifer meant to his family, "If I die, my children will weep. If my water buffalo dies, my children will starve."

Since that trip I have also been a volunteer for Heifer, going into schools, churches, community events, etc., and speaking about Heifer. Heifer does what it says it does, "Heifer works with communities to end hunger and poverty and protect the Earth." I know this to be true. I have seen it for myself.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Since my trip to the Philippines, I have also been a volunteer for Heifer, going into schools, churches, community events, etc., and speaking about Heifer. Heifer does what it says it does, "Heifer works with communities to end hunger and poverty and protect the Earth." I know this to be true. I have seen it for myself.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of any changes I would make in this organization.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

My trip to the Philippines with Heifer Projects International.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Your donations are used as Heifer says it uses them. You can rest assured that your money is having an impact in the US and around the world. The people who work for Heifer within the countries are native to the area and understand the problems faced by the communities and villages.They can identify with the people and the problems and are welcomed into the communities. They take a personal interest in the people and work tirelessly to help them end hunger and poverty, and do so without damaging their pride and self-esteem.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

29 people found this review helpful

I am an area volunteer for Heifer International and would like to clear up some misconceptions in a previous post. The original animals Heifer donates to needy families are neither sold nor eaten. They are an opportunity for a family to earn a living through the sale of the products the animals produce such as milk, eggs, honey etc. The first offspring of the animal is passed on to another needy family and so on. I have been to Heifer headquarters (green),in Little Rock, Arkansas to the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas, and on a study tour to Armenia and I can assure you every cent that is contributed to Heifer International is well spent. Heifer does not give people an animal and leave them, they are there educating them on the care of the animals, supplying veterianary care and help in producing feed among other services. Heifer is one of the most transparent agencies you will find. I am proud to be a part of this organization that has been around since 1944 and has helped many people become self sufficient and communities come together that once were at odds and they have empowered women and educated girls where otherwise they may not have had that opportunity.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am an area volunteer for Heifer International.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Of all the many organizations working to end extreme poverty that I have studied, Heifer seems to me to have the best combination of pragmatism and idealism. They recognize that the problems they wrestle with are complex and intertwined: how hunger is related to social injustice, war, environmental degradation, gender inequality, ignorance (both here and abroad), and apathy. They manage to fight all of these problems together.



Founded by an extraordinary man--Dan West--after his experience doing relief work in Europe during the Spanish Civil War, this group continues to refine its methods and spread its idea that impoverished people all over the world can solve their own problems--and then go on to help others-- with just a loan of livestock and training, which they then pass on to others.



My own experiences with Heifer have included participating in various fund-raising and public outreach projects, including a joint fundraiser with the African Children's Choir and a recent banquet in California's wine country, projects that are run primarily by grass-roots volunteers--interesting, fun, passionate, wonderful people!



I have also attended two educational weekend seminars, "Heifer University 101" and the more in-depth "Heifer University 201," which were both excellent--very informative and inspiring.



So whether you want to learn more about how to fight poverty and its attendant problems, put your own shoulder to the wheel with active participation, or just send your donation dollars to a group that will spend them well and multiply them, check out heifer.org. This is a great group.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've met people from seriously impoverished countries who were helped by Heifer's projects, and I have seen and felt what volunteering can do for the volunteers, too--builds both humility and confidence and provides perspective, inspiration.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It is already almost perfect, but I would recommend that Heifer make its gifts, books, and (especially) DVDs easier to buy from its main Web site. You have to already be an insider to know what is available, and even then it isn't easy to get the goods. Ordering the animals is easy, though. I don't understand why reviewer #2 had trouble with it.

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

For over 25 years Heifer International has been a major influence on my life. For over 60 years Heifer has been sharing resources and knowlege with limited resource farm families across the world and in the US. I have visited projects in Honduras, Maine, New York City, and Appalachia and met impoverished people whose health, dignity and hope have been restored through Heifer's unique work. I have been blessed with the opportunity to share these stories with schools and congregationa as a heifer volunteer, and to meet international "partners" in Heifer's work. Heifer "invests" donors funds with marginalized men and women who, records show, respond overwhelmingly and "pass on the gifts" they receive to others, thus leading to new levels of selp-sufficiency in small rural villages worldwide.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Honduras, where I met children who were colse to death, and whose health was restored because of a daily ration of Goat's milk

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Discovering that all people worldwide want the same things- health and education for their children, pride and dignity in their work, and a sense of belonging to a community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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