Now we know everyone is secure!

Heifer‘s programs are so vast in scope while keeping track of so many minutiae that it kind of defies language, but here we go: The $800,000 we’ve raised so far covers all the updates we’ve been writing. It’s not like 800k JUST helps farmers transition into using smart practices to increase their stability and stay out of poverty. That money covers everything from the initial outreach Heifer does, through the training, education, preparation, physical gifts like goats and seeds, and increased production.

Is $800,000 a lot of money? Yes, of course! But Heifer squeezes so much value out of it that it’s enough to get thousands of people on their feet and looking toward a brighter future.

Farida Begum had a rough life–married at 12, she and her husband had to split a meal just so her children could eat. If we check in with Farida one last time, she’s not only thriving, she’s setting some money aside. She used some of the money she earned from selling goats to lease a fifth acre of land and to cover vegetable cultivation expenses. Since then, she has harvested green chili, pointed gourds and radishes, and has sold them for $240.

Farida Begum

Farida Begum, with one of her goats. Photo by Heifer International.

Outside of her mud-walled home, Farida has planted four mango trees, 20 banana trees, 10 moringa trees, and one olive tree.  She also has 20 chickens and 10 ducks. She takes the profits and deposits it into the weekly savings account. She says, “I am more confident now. My dream is to develop a big goat farm in future. I also want to keep my youngest son in school so he can achieve a higher education.”

At this point in the program, all the participants are on solid footing. We know they’ll be okay, and they’ve beaten systemic poverty into submission. The program isn’t over, though. More funding will give Heifer International enough money to help participants in this program organize and form a farmer’s co-op. This will allow them to bargain with local markets from a much stronger position, pool their money and resources, and start making connections with other groups to expand their distribution. And we do have stories about how forming a co-operative brings everyone to the next level… [/tease]