Heifer International starts by engaging with local farmers and business owners in these regions. They work side by side with these communities to create a vision of prosperity, providing training to enhance the quality and quantity of the goods they produce and opening up connections to markets for increased sales and income.
At the core of this approach is community mobilization. Through self-help groups, participants in Heifer International projects form local networks. They meet regularly to save money and contribute to a central fund, which becomes a resource for investment in each other's businesses.
Heifer International acknowledges the power of cooperation and collective strength. They collaborate with over 2,800 farmer-owned cooperatives across the world, ranging from small-scale, self-help groups to larger, formally registered cooperatives. Members of these cooperatives have the opportunity to negotiate better prices, benefit from marketing support, and even operate their own retail stores, creating a win-win situation that bolsters local economies.
The cooperative structure also plays a pivotal role in enabling these groups to access government funding and agricultural services. By joining or establishing cooperatives, local communities gain the support and recognition needed to thrive.
Unlike organizations that rely on clichés, Heifer International focuses on the real-world challenges that marginalized communities face. Their approach tackles the root causes of hunger and poverty rather than addressing just the symptoms. This commitment to creating a healthier, more equitable future aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) designed to eliminate hunger, reduce poverty, and promote economic growth.
Heifer International's activities extend beyond cooperative support and community mobilization. They work alongside farmers as their businesses grow, offering essential resources such as seeds, livestock, and agricultural supplies, as well as connections to financing and collaboration with animal welfare experts.
Operating in 19 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Americas, Heifer International makes a tangible impact in regions where poverty and food insecurity are prevalent. Their approach, rooted in sustainability, aligns with Sustainable Development Goals, making them a powerful force in empowering communities and driving positive change.
More information: heifer.org
Youtube credits: @heiferinternational