Frequently Asked Questions


HPSA's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. HPSA does this by providing appropriate livestock, training and related services to small-scale farmers and communities across South Africa.


You can easily make a donation online through the HPSA's gift catalog, or if you prefer to mail a check, send it to us at the following address:

P.O. Box 1770
South Africa


Yes. HPSA is a 501 (c) 3 organization, and donations made by South African residents are tax deductible as allowed by law. You should consult your tax professional for specific advice.

I'm a vegetarian/vegan and uncomfortable with the idea of supporting animal donations. Do people eat the animals that are given to them? What can you tell me about my concerns? What other options do I have for supporting your work to end hunger and poverty?

We share your concern for animal welfare, animal health and animal rights and have many vegetarian employees and supporters. But when people are living hand-to-mouth and livestock development will give them a future, we answer their urgent requests for help whenever possible. This stops the practices of destroying forests and ruining the land, and lowers the rates of starvation and death due to easily preventable diseases. We recognize that a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is a wonderful choice where it is possible, but must admit that oftentimes such a diet would not meet the nutritional and economical situation faced by our partners or be culturally appropriate. We have many projects around the country where the animal does not provide any food directly to the family whatever, but rather is an integral player in developing various other sources of primary foods. The manure enriches the soil; draft power enables families to market excess vegetables, milk or other produce; additional income pays for schooling, clothes and food. In the case of smaller animals, however, many provide increased protein for impoverished families. Also, through careful management and record keeping, these project partners are increasing their income through the sale of offspring, eggs, furs, hair and so forth from these animals. But we understand our responsibility and obligation to provide other options for earning your support if you cannot in good conscience go along with our animal donation practices and outlook. In addition to animals, many HPSA donors opt for a "greener" future by honoring friends and family who love the outdoors with gifts of trees. Trees are essential to life on Earth. They breathe out oxygen and breathe in carbon dioxide. They hold water in the soil and moisture in the air. They provide food and medicines for birds, animals and people. Planting fast-growing trees puts nitrogen back in the soil, serves as windbreaks and provides fodder, fruit, fencing and firewood. Or consider honeybees! Honeybees are of great benefit to HPSA project partners as well. Honoring a friend or family member with honeybees is a gift that shows you cherish both people and the environment. The way bees work together is a lesson for us all. They produce food, care for the young, recycle waste and create an effective, efficient community. They pollinate fruits, flowers and vegetables in the process - a benefit for us. A package of HPSA bees and a hive gives families better crops, candle wax, pollen for medicine and honey to eat and sell.

Does my money really go toward the purchase of animals?

As a donor, you are given the opportunity to designate gifts to specific country programs or for specific animals. Gifts are deposited into various animal accounts, such as "goats," "tree seedlings" or "bees." We have different accounts for every type of HPSA animal. When any animal fund becomes depleted and there is still a need, monies from any other animal funds can be used where needed most. Meeting the needs of hungry families always comes first, but we do our best to accommodate your wishes, too. Every gift to HPSA represents a gift to our total mission of purchasing and transporting food and income-producing animals, as well as providing intensive training in animal husbandry; environmentally sound, sustainable farming; community development and global education. Again, gifts designated for a particular project or animal are used as requested until that need is fully met. Any remaining money is put to use where it is needed most.

Why animals?

Many of the world's people have little or no land and are often faced with steep terrain; rocky, acidic soil and scarce water. They are likely to raise a few goats and plant grass and trees rather than plow up the land for grain crops. HPSA understands how important appropriate livestock are to these people, and we work with them to ensure that the balance of crops, livestock and trees remain consistent with good ecology. We help our project communities improve their stock and teach them to protect the environment. The animals and training that HPSA provides to these families improve their quality of life in many ways. For example:

  • Income is generated through the sale of animal products such as milk, eggs and wool.
  • By products such as manure can be used to power cooking stoves or used as fertilizer to improve crop production.
  • ​Multipurpose animals like goats and cows are reliable sources of lifesaving milk and milk products beneficial in combating malnutrition. These animals also provide energy by hauling heavy loads and can be rented to neighbours for extra income. Small animals such as chickens require little space and consume crop by products or insects unsuitable for humans.

What does HPSA do to ensure the long-term health and well-being of gift animals?

We appreciate and share your concern about the well-being of animals within HPSA. By teaching and example, we make every effort to see that our project partners around the country share it as well. Our field staff are equipped with a variety of skills that help project participants prepare for the challenges and problems they encounter by providing training prior to receiving any animal gift. A significant component of this training (and of the follow-up evaluation) is that feed, water, shelter, reproductive efficiency and health care are the essential ingredients in successful livestock management. These must be available so that the livestock provided by HPSA can be kept healthy and productive. The animals should be a vital part of the farm activities without causing an extra burden on family members or the farm resources in general. The species and breed chosen must be appropriate for the area. Our expectation is that our project partners will provide care for the animal in an environment that minimizes stress and satisfies its basic behavioral and social needs. Moreover, since all recipients of HPSA animals contract to give their animal's first offspring to another family in need, the whole community is attentive to the well-being of these precious and valuable creatures. Basically, these animals are the Project Partners' life blood: they do not want to injure them and often develop close bonds with them.

Does HPSA have any particular political affiliation?

No. HPSA does not take political stands, but we do agree with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and support justice for all people.

How can I find out financial information about HPSA?

Detailed information on HPSA's finances is available through our website.

Where in the South Africa does HPSA carry out its project work?

Our staff currently provides valuable support and assistance for project partners in three provinces within South Africa. We have featured projects in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces. If you need further information, please contact us on 031.777.1374/5.

What is "agroecology"? Does HPSA practice it?

Agroecology is the sustainable use and management of natural resources, accomplished by using social, cultural, economic, political and ecological methods that work together to achieve sustainable agriculture production. HPSA is working within an integrated system of plant and animal production practices to satisfy human food needs, enhance environmental quality and natural resources and make the most of on-farm and renewable resources.

Does HPSA address gender issues?

HPSA's Gender Equity program seeks to ensure that men and women are equal partners in planning, work and benefits of a project. In many countries, women care for animals kept near the home but often have little access to technical training, resources, credit and decision-making. When women are able to receive animals and training, family nutrition improves and women gain new respect in their communities.

What does HPSA do to support the environment?

No matter where HPSA is working across the country, we find a biodiversity made up of people, wildlife, plants and habitats. As all are interrelated and woven tightly together, we must respect the needs and capabilities of each of these pieces in order to keep the ecosystem healthy. HPSA’s focus on environmental issues, therefore, is not just an ethical position but also a practical necessity. Some examples of how we confront this reality:

  • We care for the earth's natural resources through training in livestock management, pasture improvement, soil conservation and reforestation, as evidenced by our Agroecology Initiative.
  • HPSA strives to excel in its role of good steward, not only of each other, but also of the earth that we share.

Can HPSA articles be reprinted?

Yes, provided the intent of the reprinting is to promote HPSA and its mission. You may reprint articles from World Ark magazine, HPSA's website or any other HPSA printed materials. Please appropriately recognize HPSA with the following publication credit: "Reprinted with permission from HPSA -" For any other use of HPSA articles other than to promote HPSA, please contact us at

Can I get copies of brochures or pamphlets that explain HPSA's mission and purpose?

Yes, you can request HPSA materials be sent to you by emailing us at

How can I change my preferences regarding e-mail and other communications I get from HPSA?

You can send us an e-mail or give us a call at 031.777.1374/5

Do you have opportunities for organizations to partner with HPSA?

Yes. Accomplishment of HPSA's mission is greatly facilitated through collaboration, alliance and support of like-minded, well-respected corporations. Unlike a sponsorship or a donation, our mutually beneficial marketing partnerships are designed to support business-building objectives and demonstrate corporate social responsibility, while HPSA gains increased public awareness and funding. There are three ways you can get involved and support HPSA's Corporate Partnerships:

  • Develop a corporate relationship.
  • Support our existing corporate partners.
  • Ask your employer if they have an Employee Matching Gifts program and if HPSA meets their criteria.

How are HPSA projects started?

To start, project groups contact head office expressing interest in becoming Project Partners. After this initial contact, our Programmes Director makes decisions on how to respond to the request based on several factors; these include the viability (strength) and location of group, stability of the area, accessibility to HPSA staff, etc.: The Programmes Director or local HPSA staff will conduct a site visit to ensure the group has the minimum resources needed to make their project feasible (sufficient land, access to water, etc.). After the site visit, the Programmes Director or local HPSA staff will assist the project group in making their Project Plan. If approved, the group will receive appropriate training and resources to prepare for the animals before the animals are delivered. This process can take six months to two years before animals are delivered.

How are HPSA Project Partners selected?

With sustainable community development in mind, we fund projects that have been approved by committee and that meet specific guidelines as described in an information-gathering packet. There must be a solid commitment by the group to ensure all project members will work together for the benefit of the project. The group also enters into an agreement to give the first female offspring of that animal to another family so as to allow others in the community to benefit from the original gift.

How would my group or I apply for HPSA assistance?

The group's initial application needs to be made with the local HPSA office. Applications e-mailed to will be referred to the group's local provincial office. HPSA does not accept requests from individuals.

What sort of training is provided to project groups?

Some examples of the training we provide to project groups include: planting trees, building pens, animal husbandry/management (including animal nutrition, breeding and healthcare), record keeping and marketing. We also teach group-building skills and gender relationships. Much of the training is provided through cooperation with local extension services, community animal health workers, universities, colleges and other local organizations.

How can I contact HPSA?


Phone: 031.777.1374/5.
Fax: 031.777.1376
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1770 Hillcrest 3650


John Allen 
Resource Development Specialist

I'm with the media. Who should I contact at HPSA for questions and information?

Please contact our resource development office for information about HPSA. 

John Allen 
Resource Development Specialist 

How do I change my address?

Please e-mail your address changes to or mail your correct address label from your HPSA publication to:

P.O. Box 1770

Note that changes to your mailing preferences, changes of address or removal from mailing lists require one or two mailing cycles to come into effect.

Can I visit some of your projects while on my own travel?

We welcome your interest and would like to be able to accommodate visits from people traveling on their own. However, to respect the dignity and privacy of our project participants, and in light of the limited time and resources of our field staff, we do not encourage unscheduled visits to our projects.

Can I sign up for your newsletter?

Yes. Signing up for HPSA's email is one way to deepen your commitment to ending hunger and poverty. You'll learn about HPSA's work through inspiring stories, and we'll send you information on how you can help move a family from poverty to self-reliance.

How do animals and people work together?

Animals provide families with draft power, financial security, manure, wool, transportation and protein from milk, eggs and meat. HPSA project partners take great pride in owning livestock and consider their well-being as a primary responsibility. They provide their animals with protection from predators, clean water, food, exercise space, comfortable housing and humane treatment.

What are the 7 M's of livestock?

The 7 M's of livestock represent the valuable benefits that farm animals supply to people. Our 7 M's are milk, manure, meat, muscle, money, materials and motivation.