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Moo, moo says the cow. Create everyday heros with Heifer International

Yes. I did get samples of their free stuff in the mail today. Yes. It was probably a bribe to get me to post something online. Yes. I’m okay with that.

Cause the work done by Heifer International is pretty amazing. If you aren’t familiar with Heifer International, it’s a non-profit that focuses on self-reliance and sustainable. And they do this in a very unique way:

We empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but our approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps brings sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. We do this by providing a variety of animals. Our animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market.

When many families gain this new sustainable income, it brings new opportunities for building schools, creating agricultural cooperatives, forming community savings and funding small businesses.

The core of our model is Passing on the Gift. This means families share the training they receive, and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities.

The goal of every Heifer project is to help families achieve self-reliance. We do this by providing them the tools they need to sustain themselves, and it’s thanks to the generosity of donors like you.

You have the power to give a hungry family the training it takes to feed themselves and their children; to give a young girl a chance at an education; to empower a woman to have a voice in her community. Together, we can change the world, one family, one community, at a time. And it all starts with a gift.

Another strategy they use for impacting poverty around the world is through education of, well . . . us. The HI folks have put together some very nice educational resources for elementary and middle school kids. And the resources are free. And they can help you meet standards. And they can help instill a sense of global awareness in your students. And they can be used to set up a great service learning opportunity.

A few of their resources:

  • Read to Feed is an elementary reading incentive service-learning program that offers global education opportunities and will foster in children a love for reading, a passion to help others and a motivation to help create a better world.
  • GET IT! – Global Education to Improve Tomorrow – helps middle school teachers show students how the choices they make as consumers affect the global marketplace.
  • Lesson Plans of all types

So. Want to do some good while using high-quality social studies, geography, reading, and writing instructional materials?

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amanda Jessee #

    Our 2nd grade classes “travel” around the world. As part of their study of Africa, they host an African Market Day. Each second grader decides what he or she is going to sell at market–we see a lot of student-made jewelry and artwork, sweet treats prepared with parent help, and small toys (think Happy Meal toys and baseball cards!). The rest of the students and staff at our school bring money to purchase the items; 2nd grade then takes all the money made and donates animals through Heifer International to help people in the communities they have studied. Great way to tie economics, geography, and social awareness together in one really cool unit!

    January 10, 2014
    • glennw #


      Thanks for the great comment! I worked with a group of elementary teachers last week and they’re going to try something very similar to your activity. Looks like very exciting stuff!


      January 14, 2014

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