There is a very famous series of "Billboards" in the U.S. sponsored by the Dairy industry. They feature pictures of celebrities holding a glass of milk and a "moustache" of milk just above their top lips. These celebrities are from the fields of entertainment or sports and very are well known. What is also very well known is the fact that milk is an very good source of nutrition.
While milk is a very good source of nutrition, Heifer Project International (HPI) is a very good source of milk.
This organization is involved in rural development around the world, like many other NGOs, but it is unique because it provides animals and trains individuals in organized local groups how to care for them.
Heifer Project International's work is community driven by the expressed needs of the people participating in their projects. And because of this they provide their services to organizations request their assistance.
Having conducted active operations in 115 countries worldwide, Heifer Project International may very well be the only NGO that specializes in animal agriculture as a vehicle for the development of the people and the communities as a means of helping families become self -sufficient in food and income .
HPI says that it is its mission to provide food-producing animals, training and related assistance to families and enable them to become givers by "passing on the gift" of training and offspring to others in need. And also to educate people about the root cause of hunger and poverty and to support them in sustainable development and steward-ship of the environment through responsible management of natural resources
In accordance with their mission statement, they provide livestock, training and related assistance to help the poor achieve social and economic development in ecologically sustainable manner. They say "The process of development in its broad sense, is community motivation and the use of natural, physical mental and spiritual resources to improve the quality of life for all."
The objectives of HPI is to enable poor people to achieve levels of production necessary to meet their economic and nutritional needs and to assist local efforts in fostering the spirit of sharing by means of "passing on the gift". They want to assist livestock development efforts that are ecologically, culturally and economically sustainable; and at the same time, enable individual and organizational donors to participate in the support of livestock related agricultural development effort of the poor.
Heifer International's unique approach to ending hunger and poverty since 1944 has provided food- and income-producing animals and training to millions of resource-poor families in 115 countries. They also provide microcredit in the form of livestock, and this too promotes self-reliance, which builds self-esteem and helps families lift themselves out of poverty.
Its web site states "milk, eggs, wool, draft power and other benefits from the animals provide families with food and income. Selected appropriately and managed well, animals improve nutrition and help families earn money for education, clothes, health care, better housing and starting a small business."
Using a grassroots approach HPI lets people and communities make their own decisions about how to improve their lives. They say that as partners work together to overcome obstacles, they strengthen their communities and foster democracy.
"By training partners in environmentally sound, sustainable agriculture practices, Heifer makes lasting change possible. At the heart of Heifer's philosophy is the commitment families make to "pass on the gift," by sharing one or more of their animal's offspring with other families in need. Helping others ensures dignity and multiplies the benefits of the original gift from generation to generation.
Heifer's time-tested approach helps build stronger families, gender equity, vibrant communities and a healthier planet"
HPI Zambia is a registered charity in Zambia, and since its inception in December 1997, it has been able to assist the rural poor communities achieve a sustainable decent livelihood. They hope to be recognized as one of the best examples of participatory development and rural transformation. This they plan to do through routine internal and external program reviews, training and exchange programs and a mature constructive relationship with the Zambian Ministry of agricultural Food and Fisheries, the Germany Embassy and NGOs like Women for Change and Africare.
In addition to their other objectives the aim to create viable communities while strengthening the family unit, increasing human dignity, promoting diversified and integral farming systems, promoting and using indigenous people, skill and resources, reducing urban migration and caring for the earth.
Heifer Project International/ Zambia has projects in Central, Copperbelt and Southern Provinces as well as in Lusaka. These projects include:
- Draft cattle projects
- Small-holder dairy projects
- Small livestock projects and
- Bee keeping
Over 3000 individuals have benefited from these projects by receiving animals and training in the management of these animals.
You can find the extensive site for Heifer Project International here and
The Heifer Project International / Zambia can be found at this second link.