Saturday, November 15, 2008

Heifer Project International Ukraine

One of the NGO’s Berny and I met on our travels was Heifer Project International in Kyiv. Tanya had heard about them from a friend in Donetsk who told her how effective the project was. Tanya and I plan to go to Kyiv and meet with them for more information and then investigate potential for a project here in P’yatikhatski Raion.

Anyone looking for a worthwhile charity to contribute to, should investigate HPI. They are very effective and keep overhead to a minimum. The following information is adapted from their website.

Heifer Project International (HPI) is a nonprofit, humanitarian organization headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. HPI is dedicated to ending world hunger and poverty, and caring for the earth by providing food- and income- producing farm animals, veterinary supplies and agricultural equipment to needy farmer families to help them become self reliant. Also, HPI delivers intensive training in animal husbandry, ecologically sound sustainable farming and community development.

The recipients of HPI gifts are farmer families, who, as decided by the community, are most eligible for the support (families with many children, poor, etc.), regardless of their religious or ethnic heritage. They should be able to provide appropriate care, feed for the animals, and undertake to follow HPI “cornerstones” and project terms.

Animals from Heifer provide milk, eggs, plowing power and other benefits that lead to improved nutrition, higher income, education for children, health care, improved housing and literally new way of life.

Heifer requires its recipients to “Pass on the gift” by sharing offspring of their livestock with others in need. “Passing on the Gift” sets off a chain of giving that touches numerous lives in an expanding circle of hope.

Heifer Project International Ukraine started a pilot project in Ukraine in 1994 in L’viv Region and since 2000 when International Charitable Foundation “Heifer Project International” (HPI) was officially registered, has projects in almost all Oblasts.

By 2005, 989 rural families in different regions of Ukraine have been assisted through HPI projects. HPI Ukraine donated 689 heifers/cows, 53 horses, 365 sheep, 54 goats, 26 rabbits, 11 pigs and 668 bee colonies to farmers. Total number of families participated in HPI Ukraine projects is more than 1500. As of July 2005, 546 initial recipients have passed the gift on to other needy farmers.

Updated statistics for 2007 show almost 2200 families have benefited, about 1344 directly and 835 from “Passing on the Gift”

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