Heifer International South Africa (Heifer) has developed a five year project called the KZN Goat Agribusiness project with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, KZN Department of Agriculture and Land Reform and Mdukatshani Rural Development Programme. The total five year budget is over R70 million rand. The areas of focus are in five local municipalities of Mzinyathi, Thukela, Uthungulu, Zululand and uMkhanyakude (Msinga, Nkandla and Jozini). Heifer will be working with 140 livestock dip tanks over the five years and supporting approximately 28,000 farmers to increase their herd productivity with the goat commercialisation.
The purpose of the event is to encourage and introduce the community to new business ventures, showcase their goat breeds and an introduction to the goat market. The event aims at re-introducing goat meat to the community by providing initiatives to encourage the community to partake in activities which will provide locals with an understanding into the goat market. As well as encourage locals to learn more about how to make their goats more productive in order to commercialize their herds. A cooking competition shall be held on the day whereby co-ops will have to cook a balanced meal using goat meat.
As inflation continues to hike, the standard of living diminishes, it is unfortunate that malnutrition continues to present health problem within our poorer communities. Heifer assists the battle of malnutrition by investing in and educating communities and project members to farm sustainably towards maintaining health and prevent short and long term effects of malnourishment.
The encouragement by Heifer staff for communities to create group savings accounts also increases the community’s social protection through their ability to withstand social, economic and environmental shocks. Group savings create a reserve of funds available to the community to use in any emergency whether to replace livestock after a disease outbreak or to expand their agricultural enterprises encouraging growth and increased household income. Therefore, celebrate this World Food Day on October 16th by assisting Heifer in providing South African communities with the long term social protection to withstand any future shocks - effectively creating a resilient rural society.
A big shout out to @angelowpage, 1 of our #Top10 activists of the week, for @HeiferSA! givengain.com/activist/11947 Angelo Wilkie-Page is attempting to be the first person to circumnavigate the world, twice, on human power. (no engines, no sails.) Firstly East to West and then again North to South all in aid to support Heifer International South Africa's mission to end hunger and poverty in South Africa. His determination and heroic attempt to raise funds in aid of ending poverty in South Africa is phenomenal.
When she was a teenager her father died, her mother became ill, and daily life was a struggle. “It was difficult because my mother wasn’t working. We had to get up early to help neighbors with weeding their fields so we could get money. Sometimes we would help neighbors with renovating their houses,” she said. Seven years later her mother died, and at the age of 21 she was left to support her family.
Heifer has introduced agriculture based on family farming as a solution to address hunger, environmental and economic challenges faced by people that are impoverished. Family farms are increasingly being recognized as part of the future and a key player towards sustainable development. Family farming is central to eradicating hunger. Family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in developing countries. The hungry live in rural areas and depend on farming for their subsistence and income. Heifer helps improve their livelihoods through sustainable agriculture, in combination with concrete support in terms of capacity development, tools, technology, infrastructure and access to basic services with priority given in efforts to eradicate hunger and malnutrition. Targeting family farmers will make a difference in the hunger equation.
Heifer’s projects aims at generating income, in which disadvantaged women are given gifts of seeds and livestock with the aim of improving their situation as well as that of her family members. The idea is that if a productive asset such as livestock is given to a women and her family, they will be empowered economically and socially in ways that will gradually reduce social and income inequalities. Livestock and crops provide food for both family consumption and sale. This leads to improved health and nutritional status, increased income levels, and greater self-esteem. Projects brought about changes in awareness of rural living to make rural living more pleasant and comfortable. These changes included creating awareness to change the status of women by their active participation in agriculture and acquiring skills to diversify areas of involvement by women supporting women in entrepreneurial roles.
Being sustainable means finding ways to use local resources more efficiently, it also means protecting the natural habitats and diversity of species that share our planet and life all around us. Heifer International South Africa (Heifer) is committed to being part of that effort. Heifer works alongside rural impoverished communities to bring diverse perspectives to agriculture to develop creative and effective solutions to combating poverty and hunger. Heifer works with small scale farmers to produce sustainable farming practices, enabling them to produce food and preserve the natural ecosystem. Practices implemented on farms conserve resources to protect the land and promote biodiversity where they live and farm.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the world's largest private philanthropy organization, with a $40 billion endowment. It aims to tackle disease and poverty in the developing world. Bill Gates earned his billions as co-founder of Microsoft.
Statistics South Africa had recently released a report which portrayed a higher percentage of South African families living below the poverty line than previously believed. This came about after the National Statistics body adjusted the basic poverty line indicators. The number of South Africans now living below the poverty line has increased from 45.5% to 53.8%. With a population of 52 million people, this increase to 53.8% of the population living below the poverty line indicates roughly 15 million people are now suffering from poverty and hunger.
Heifer’s model allows families to earn a living, grow healthy food and stay home to care for HIV positive family members. Fighting HIV/AIDS is more than medication, it is about helping families as to find ways to cope with the challenges faced and keep loved ones happy and active for as long as possible.
When project members at the Phulisnani Project in the Eastern Cape shared their challenges faced over the recent months Heifer International South Africa (Heifer) saw a need for intervention. Project members were experiencing a slow progress in the growth of vegetable gardens which has restricted the sale of vegetables. Heifer has recognized a need to construct manual boreholes within the area. The high cost involved in sourcing and purchasing seedlings from towns nearby, harsh water shortages combined with draughts has impacted negatively on the livelihood structures of the community.
With the knowledge that every individual has the potential to lead change by Passing on the Gift, we can only imagine how much potential we can unlock. How many futures we can build. We’ve accomplished a lot, but we won’t stop until we’ve seen the end of hunger and poverty in South Africa. Heifer International South Africa (Heifer) recently celebrated a Passing on the Gift ceremony over the Easter Weekend at the Zusiphe Project in Nkandla, Kwa-Zulu Natal. As most people were in high spirits in the anticipation of the Easter celebrations, 39 more families at Heifer’s Zusiphe Project have received gifts of does, passed on by their community members. The joys of the Easter celebrations as well as the present of 47 does brought excitement, joy and hope to the Kwa-Nqundu village (Nkandla).
With poverty, malnutrition and a growing population in the rural areas of South Africa, Heifer has found solutions to help feed and provide a possible source of income and nutrition to these people. The desire for a better life is possible with the help of Heifer.
In the recent days project members have celebrated their first goat delivery, which consisted of 572 indigenous goats. Goats were awarded to project members with goat shelters. With 528 indigenous goats to follow during the course of this year the remaining project members are pre-occupied with trainings and building their goat shelters.
I volunteered with Heifer South Africa for 3 months with the Resource Development team. I have always had an interest in working with non-profit organisations and found working with Heifer South Africa to be an enriching experience. It broadens one's knowledge of how non-profit organisations work and finding out what the intrinsic and most essential needs are in operating the behind the scenes of such an organisation. I find that understanding parts of a whole is of the utmost importance to making anything grow successfully and sustainably and therefore, this experience has provided that sneak preview into understanding how such an established organisation operates. As a child in primary school, I had participated in the Read to Feed programme and still remember the enjoyment it gave me and how it opened my eyes towards helping others in need. So, to be able to volunteer for the same organisation, but to be on the other end has been a rather rewarding experience. I had limited time to devote but I soon realised that any help in such an organisation is positive help. Thank you for the opportunity Heifer South Africa and thank you to the resource development team for being so welcoming and helpful
To commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8, Heifer International South Africa turns focus towards the social achievements of rural women residing in the disadvantaged Mahbeleni village, situated in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. The Sukuma Poultry project was first started in 2006 by a group of women that had come together to improve on living conditions. In 2011, Heifer has helped lift the Sukuma Poultry Project towards positive transformation and empower scores of women in the village. The project equipped women with ‘tools of transformation’ by providing them with adequate education and training on maintaining sustainable crop and chicken farming practices. These methods adhered to the Cornerstones of Heifer’s mission to achieve holistic community development. Their indigenous knowledge teamed with Heifers skills and resources helped transform daily family farms into family businesses.
How can reading books change lives in rural communities? Ask the students at Crawford Preparatory La Lucia or Clarendon Primary in the Eastern Cape. They, along with seven other schools, participated in Heifer International South Africa’s Read to Feed programme last year. For every book a child reads in the Read to Feed programme they raise money, through family and friends sponsoring them, for supporting Heifer’s mission in South Africa to defeat hunger and poverty. Not only does this programme help provide training and animals to needy communities, the programme also improves the student’s reading and comprehension skills and increases their awareness of critical issues affecting South Africa and globally.
2015 is set to be another busy but exciting year for Heifer International South Africa (Heifer). The Blouberg project, which is our largest project to date at 2100 families in the Limpopo Province, will be entering its second year. This year will see the delivery of more goats and chickens to the project members whom have already completed their livestock shelters and they happily look forward to the new business opportunities the animals will bring.
“We are thankful to the donors and Heifer for coming and starting the project with us, it has changed our lives and we see the future being brighter after their arrival” Says Mr Dumisani Magidlwana (41) a member of Phuhlisanani project in Mdlankomo village.
With the mercury having plummeted, the snow-capped mountain tops of Nkandla set the backdrop for a Passing on the Gift (POG) ceremony like no other. The residents of KwaNqundu village, in Nkandla, braved the chilling rains and came out in their numbers to bear witness to this auspicious occasion marked by ululation song and dance
Dhiya Pillay is in Grade 2 at Crawford Preparatory School in La Lucia KZN. Dhiya is truely a passionate trouper. She raised funds for the Read to Feed Programme by Reading to employees at her dads factory.
For years poverty stricken communities have had to rely on deforestation to provide them with the necessary fuel to heat their water in order to cook and clean. This has resulted in soil erosion, declining wildlife habitats, biodiversity and bee populations. As a result, Heifer staff provide project members with a variety of fruit tree saplings suited to the region which inhibit soil erosion and provide bees with a source of food. Alternative fuel sources are also incorporated to reduce the amount of wood required by each household.
Seventy five per cent of the world’s poor live in rural areas. This provides local and international aid agencies and governments with an opportunity to effectively reduce global poverty levels whilst addressing a number of other crucial issues such as climate change, malnutrition and environmental protection. This opportunity presents itself in the form of agricultural interventions. Smallholder farmers already produce 80% of the food in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. 86% of the world’s rural poor also currently depend on agriculture as their source of livelihood, whilst also living on arable land which is in most instances suitable for both crop and livestock production, with the bulk of this arable land being found in Africa. Therefore, these rural families are perfectly situated, with the right knowledge, skills and inputs, to feed their families and earn a decent annual income through farming. As previously mentioned, with the vast majority of the rural poor living on arable land, a large portion of these families also own varying forms of livestock. This allows Aid agencies and governments to provide minimal capital inputs whilst bringing the largest amount of families above the poverty line.
The good work of Heifer International South Africa has not gone unnoticed. Sunshine Seedling Services in Park Rynie took notice and joined in our fight against hunger, poverty and caring for the earth. Sunshine Seedlings has been infected by the philanthropic bug of Heifer’s work which has sparked a good working relationship, earmarked to blossom into a long life partnership. Sunshine Seedlings has donated seedlings towards Sukuma Poultry Project.
Mr Mnconyelwa received one jersey cow from Heifer and through Heifer trainings he now has a garden where he plants oats, cabbage, spinach, beetroot and onions. Ever since he joined the project his family members now enjoy being together at home because they now have a cow to milk and zero grazing structure to clean everyday. With the monthly income of R870 generated from selling milk he is now able to put food on the table for his family and buy other household necessities.
Mrs Patience Qwabe (53) is a woman of stature, as deputy chair of Zusiphe Goat Project’s Steering Committee she is expected to lead by example, and that she has. As a mother of 4 and grandmother to 11 she has set the bar high for her children, grandchildren and her fellow project members. A mother to a child attending university, Delani Zimele Qwabe (21), who requires a lot of money for tuition fees, there is very little left over for food and other commodities. A home garden comes in handy as most of her essential vegetables come from her own backyard. “I will very shortly be harvesting my very own bananas,” she exclaims, which is an added bonus to consuming home grown healthy vegetables and owning her very own goats. Soon she will complete her commitment to Passing on the Gift® (POG) of one more female goat kid
Read to Feed Super Heroes changing the world their way! Super Smarties. For the next few weeks the Read to Feed Programme shall be honoring our 2014 super heroes by sharing their initiatives, incentives and zeal to help end hunger and poverty in South Africa. Our weeks start off with Crawford La Lucia Preparatory School’s Super Smarties. Students who dared to dream up innovative, exciting and heartwarming ways to raise funds for the Read to Feed Programme.
Nonhlanhla joined Heifer's Zusiphe project in 2012 and since then has received two goats, vegetable seedlings and fruit trees which has seen her and her family begin to flourish. However, it wasn't only the physical gifts she received from Heifer which enabled them to prosper, but it is also the values enshrined in Heifer's 12 Cornerstones which have truly assisted her family.
At Heifer, we've learned that young people can be our most powerful spokespeople. It's true! We're proud of the initiative undertaken by Anna and Marie Brammer from Crawford Preparatory College in KZN, to end hunger and poverty, because when we all work together, great things happen.