The Heifer project replaced Samaritan’s purse in 2018 . It functions to connect specific needs (hunger and poverty) in the world with the resources we can provide. It is non-denominational. It encourages direct gifts from all age groups.
To founder of Heifer, Dan West was a farmer from the American Midwest and member of the Church of the Brethren who went to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War as an aid worker. His mission was to provide relief, but he soon discovered the meager single cup of milk rationed to the weary refugees once a day was not enough. And then he had a thought: What if they had not a cup, but a cow? That “teach a man to fish” philosophy is what drove West to found Heifer International.
Founded in 1944, Heifer Project International has helped 30 million families in more than 125 countries improve their quality of life and move toward greater self-reliance. Through livestock, training and Passing on the Gift Heifer helps build strong communities
They currently work in 25 countries – in particular Latin America, Africa, India and the Philippines and in the US
Heifer works to empower families through specific projects:
1 BY TRAINING PEOPLE IN SUSTAINABLE FARMING
They teach people how to use environmentally-friendly farming methods, create and operate businesses, and support their communities with their knowledge.
2 BY HELPING FARMERS GAIN ACCESS TO THE MARKET
They strengthen entire communities by making large-scale improvements to existing economic systems to benefit farmers
3 BY EMPOWERING WOMEN
They help women develop leadership skills so that they can have access to greater opportunities such as education and entrepreneurship.
What sets them apart is their strategy of Passing on the Gift, whereby each family passes on animals, knowledge and other inputs to their neighbors in need. This practice turns recipients into donors and provides a profound sense of accomplishment. Through Passing on the Gift, the impact of the original gift is doubled, at minimum, proving that small actions lead to big results.
Heifer has also worked with recent disasters – volcano victims in Guatemala, those affected by the Nepal earth quake, fostering agricultural improvements in Haiti after their earthquake