Heifer International

Education, Health and Well-Being, Economic Opportunity

Geography: Global

Founded: 1944


1 World Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72202

About Heifer International

Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, Heifer empowers them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope.

With gifts of livestock and training, Heifer projects help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. Heifer refers to the animals as "living loans" because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal's offspring to another family in need. It's called Passing on the Gift – a cornerstone of their mission that creates an ever-expanding network of hope and peace.

Empowering Women

Heifer International knows that the key to ending hunger and poverty is to empower the world's women. That is why Heifer began designing projects specifically for women, called Women in Livestock Development or "WiLD" for short.

One woman who knows firsthand what a meaningful difference these projects can make is Phy Thol from Cambodia. Before she started working with Heifer, her family was one of the poorest in the village. But after receiving the gifts of livestock and training through a Heifer livestock development project, Thol transformed her farm into a promising future for her children. Thol immediately invested income in her children's education. Then she purchased an ox to plow her land and increase rice production. Before long, Thol was able to purchase additional land so the family could grow more rice and further boost the household income.

Next, Thol began to help other women in her community become self-reliant by making her farm a place for teaching. She is now a woman well respected by the community, local authorities and even other development organizations. Her extraordinary commitment to Heifer's mission to end hunger and poverty while caring for the earth earned her Heifer International's 2010 WilD award.