By Fred Koenig
It can be very discouraging listening to the news these days. Stories about civil wars, border disputes and the thousands who are fleeing their violent and impoverished homelands seem to dominate the news media. It is no wonder there is lots of strife given that we live in a world where millions live on an income of less than $2.00 per day. “Where hunger rules, peace cannot prevail.”
But there is hope! The mission of Heifer International is, “to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth.” Heifer projects promoted through the Festival of Sharing offer us the opportunity to help do just that by providing reliable sources of both food and income to struggling families in the U.S. and around the world.
The countries for the international project, (chosen months ago) have been in the news daily during recent weeks. Thousands of children from Guatemala, (just south and east of Mexico) and Honduras, (just south and east of Guatemala) have been sent on treacherous journeys by their parents who desperately hope to save them from the violence and poverty prevalent in their home communities. The “Sustainable Hillside Farming in Guatemala and Honduras” project sites are located in the mountainous regions of western Cuchumantanes, Guatemala and San Andrés and Santa Cruz, Honduras. Project goals are to work with rural families to strengthen food security through crop diversification, increase capacities in plant, sheep and poultry production and help to develop sustainable producer organizations. Women will be included in all phases of training and support.
Please consider supporting these families by giving a “Bountiful Harvest Basket” for $72 or send a sheep for $120. Your contribution will provide training and livestock which will result in reliable sources of both food and income and a chance at a more secure future.
“Planting Seeds of Change in Appalachia and the Delta” is the domestic project chosen again this year. Seeds of Change is one of five large global projects established to help struggling families along the Arkansas Delta and in north eastern Tennessee and north western North Carolina.
Malnutrition and substandard living conditions are prevalent in these areas. Strategies include creating living wage jobs by providing training and resources to help producers, processors and community food entrepreneurs. In addition, they will work to permanently improve access to nutritious, locally-produced food among food insecure populations by developing farm-to-school programs, neighborhood markets, local food pantries and partnering with large retail markets. Please consider supporting this project by providing, “Training for a Family Farm,” (provides instruction in soil conservation and irrigation as well as gifts of livestock and seeds), for $72. A second option is to “Launch A Small Business” by providing $365 for training in small business management and a microcredit loan.
While the news has been difficult to read lately, there are true-life, great stories occurring too. They are stories of families who through Heifer International have moved from lives of poverty to lives of self-sufficiency. Your gift to Heifer International given through the Festival of Sharing can provide the opening to a new, great story for project partners in the communities described above! Many thanks for your support!