Heifer Project International, Inc.
Rating: 3.3 stars 33 reviews
Issues: Animals, Food, International
Location: 1 World Avenue Little Rock AR 72202 USA
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.
The Farmer Organizations Growing Hope project will support 550 families
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In 1980 I worked as a student in international development in Panama. I met a development worker there who excoriated Heifer International. He said HI's gift of an animal trapped impoverished farmers in a cycle of debt because they could not afford the necessary feed so Heifer gave them a loan for it which they could only pay back by selling the food they produced rather than eating it. A year ago I met someone involved in HI who said they have changed. But I don't have personal experience of that change. It is time to sign up to make monthly contributions to my favorite charities through my employer, the University of Massachusetts, and I want to give to a charity that helps the poorest of the poor help themselves, and HI talks the right talk, but I need to know that it walks the walk, too, and does not draw the poor into a monetary system in which they start out so far behind in the game that it is a harm rather than a help.
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