Thursday, April 05, 2007

donating to a worthy cause: understanding heifer international

Our Work
How Heifer Does What it Does
Behind our success is the hard work of our field staff exerts, so that projects function effectively with the best environment for project success. Scroll down to see our step-by-step process.

The steps are as follows:

1. Community groups approach Heifer International for help in setting up an animal or agriculture project.

2. Country program staff meet with applicants to make sure the group's goals are compatible with Heifer's mission and that they have the capacity to carry out the project successfully. Heifer staff and project participants go through a careful planning process to decide which animals or crops would be most beneficial.

3. The project plans are submitted to the Heifer International headquarters for approval.

4. Before receiving their animals, project participants must first undergo rigorous training to learn about Heifer's Cornerstones such as gender equity and sharing and caring, which will guide them toward just and sustainable development. For many participants, the training is as important as the animals they receive.

5. Families build shelters and other facilities needed to keep animals healthy. Often, families build zero-grazing facilities - airy pens with elevated floors that keep animals with destructive grazing habits away from valuable crops. They also may plant trees and grasses to be used to feed their new animals.

6. Once families receive Heifer animals, they put their training to use. Soon, eggs, milk and meat improve nutrition. Extra eggs and milk can be sold to improve income, while animal manure fertilizes crops. Bees produce honey, and trees, vegetables, fruit and other crops begin to produce food, fuel and fibers. Water buffalo, oxen and camels provide draft power that makes farming and transportation much easier.

7. It's now time for project partners to pass on the gift of self-reliance to others. Heifer recipients pass one one or more of their animal's offspring, training and skills to another family in need. The new recipients agree to pass on the gift as well, creating a chain of giving that can touch thousands of lives.

8. Heifer project partners share stories of their successes with other groups. Project participants encourage others to seek Heifer's help so that they, too, can become self-reliant.

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