Heifer International is an organization working to improve the livelihoods of those strugglingaround the world with issues of hunger and poverty. With gifts of livestock and training, Heifer projects help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. Heifer’s 12 cornerstones guide all they do, such as the well-known policy of “Passing on the Gift.” Passing on the Gift requires families who receive Heifer gifts, such as a pig, to donate offspring of that gift, in this case, piglets, to another family in need, creating ongoing benefit to the community.
GMCR has partnered with Heifer on several projects over the years. Currently, we support five Heifer projects in five different countries: Honduras, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Each project with different activities, but the same goal of improving the lives of those in our coffee supply chain. These projects represent a better future for over 30,000 people, nearly 5,000 families, and a combined effort of 24 years of development work.
In Honduras and Peru, the project provides training and support for “Passing on the Gift” so that farmers and their families are not only able to care for the animals they receive, but also to help families that receive offspring of that initial animal. The farmers and their families learn to care effectively for the animals, such as what foods to feed them and how to build a pen or fence. These animals improve food security for the entire family and, ultimately, the community.
In addition to sharing livestock, projects in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua include activities focused on farm diversification. One way diversification is achieved is through family gardens. These gardens increase the variety of foods in the family diet and, therefore, lead to improved nutrition. Gardens also offer an opportunity to sell excess crops for profit, and Heifer helps these farmers by strengthening linkages to local markets. In order to ensure the success and sustainability of the project, Heifer includes strong educational components around nutrition, farmer technical assistance, and ecosystem sustainability through improved watershed management and reforestation.
GMCR is a proud partner of Heifer International. With each new project we choose to support, our relationship grows and strengthens our commitment to improving the livelihoods of those coffee farmers. I encourage you to check out Heifer yourself and see what they are doing both in the US and abroad