Posted by: charityinfo | November 24, 2011

Heifer International

Heifer International was founded to deal with the ravages of war in 1944. Dan West, who founded the organization, was working as a relief worker for the Church of the Brethren. His job at the time was to decide who would and who wouldn’t receive the limited rations of food available – literally, who will live or die. He knew this kind of aid is not sustainable because supply will always run out.

The result was the creation of Heifers for Relief. It was an organization that provides families with livestock to end hunger and to spare them the “indignity of depending on others to feed their children”.  It worked. Heifer animals were given to hungry families as a way for them to become self-reliant. They can go beyond meeting basic needs to fulfilling their potential.

Since its inception, the organization has helped more than seven million people around the world. While other institutions aim to relieve the immediate hunger of their recipients, Heifer International differs because of its focus on the long-term. By giving families livestock such as goats, cows, and water buffaloes, they are able to meet the families’ future needs. Recipients were also trained on how to take care of the animal.

In addition, the organization focuses on the idea of “passing the gift”. Current recipients are encouraged to help their communities by giving milk, eggs, or the offspring of the heifer animals to their neighbors and others in need. The cycle continues and lifts the entire community out of poverty.


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