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Heifer International embraces the “teach a man to fish” philosophy in empowering people to raise themselves and their communities out of poverty through farm animal donations and education. The donations are paired with love, humanity, and appreciation for the animals, while providing best practices and sustainable agricultural prosperity to areas of the world stricken with poverty, famine, and disease.
Heifer International empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but their approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Their animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey that 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.
Giving an animal is no ordinary gift. Giving an animal in an impoverished area is like giving someone a small business, providing wool, milk, eggs and more. Animal donations can provide families a hand up, increasing access to medicine, school, food and a sustainable livelihood; while promoting the human-animal bond.
Women empowerment is a huge aspect of the Heifer cause. If women farmers had access to the same resources as men, more than 150 million additional people would have enough food to eat. Heifer provides support for women’s groups, training in gender equality and the means to send girls to school to help empower women around the world to reach their full potential.
Sustainable farming encourages restering the Earth, as caring for the Earth is vital to ending hunger and poverty, whether it’s through reforestation, organic gardening or adoption of fuels that reduce the ill effects to the environment.
The veterinary community has begun to put the full force of their influence behind this project. Veterinary pharmaceutical companies are getting in on the cause through generous matching of veterinary hospital and veterinary purchasing group donations. Elanco, for example, has recently pledged a $100,000 match of a donation from the animal hospitals of Veterinary Study Groups.
Individuals looking to help not only other individuals but whole families and communities may get in on the action through a donation of your own. I encourage my readers to make your own pledge of support that fits your budget; no matter how modest every little bit of help counts. You may learn more details of the program and donate at the link below:
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and highly regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.