Teach a Man to Fish
One of my lifelong passions is traveling internationally and discovering new cultures, foods and lifestyles. I caught the travel bug young – during a trip to Fiji when I was just 10. Since then, I have adventured to over 40 countries; experiencing the tradition and history of different cultures and seeing the simplicity and happiness of people with different ways of life can be humbling and life changing. Unfortunately, along with the first world privilege of traveling for pleasure, comes the acute awareness that for many people living in third world countries, just getting enough food or clean water is a daily struggle for survival. Today over 1 billion people around the world live in extreme poverty.
For our first From The Heart charitable donation, the PlanetOne team decided to support an organization that for the past 70 years has strengthened local communities in 125 different countries around the globe and helped lift 25 million families out of poverty. Heifer International helps equip small-scale farmers with the capability to secure their livelihoods and gives people the tools to create sustainable crops, food sources and income for the long term.
We were able to review some of the most critical needs of communities and choose donations that will change the lives of the villagers who receive them.
Access to safe water is a necessity we often take for granted, but poor families around the world struggle to obtain this vital resource. Heifer’s solution is to help rural families install treadle pumps that maximize the number of growing seasons and allow them to expand the types of crops on their land. This cost-effective process is much cheaper than using motorized pumps, and more efficient than using buckets to fetch water. In many instances this simple change frees up enough time to allow girls to go to school for the first time. From the Heart Donation: 3 treadle water pumps
in the remote Andean regions of Peru, families are isolated and struggle with access. Alpacas are easily domesticated, thrive between 14,000 and 16,000 feet, and live a long time. They give birth and shed their fur every year, making them excellent for sustainable projects that stand the test of time. They also absorb 50% more nutrients than sheep and goats—allowing them to survive where there is only poor quality grass. Heifer provides the animal, but also teaches families to process the fur, dye it using natural dyes, store it properly, turn it into beautiful artisan products and market it; covering the entire value chain, from the herd to the storefront. From the Heart Donation: 3 alpacas
Honduras was a world leader in high-quality honey production, exporting close to a million bottles a year. But the arrival of African bees nearly destroyed the honey industry, and with it, the livelihoods of thousands of families. Heifer is working to rebuild Honduran beekeeping and honey production, to the benefit of over 700 families who are eager to reclaim their self-reliance. Families are provided training in methods for keeping bees, mating the queens, safely boxing worker bees and drones, and harvesting honey, beeswax, pollen and other marketable byproducts that make beekeeping so viable. The placement of a single colony of bees can double local fruit and vegetable yields. From the Heart Donation: 4 bee colonies
I am so thankful to be part of an organization that believes in the importance of giving back and also thrilled that the PlanetOne team is doing something incredibly tangible that will make a positive impact on many lives around the globe as a result of our first From the Heart donation.
“I encourage all of PlanetOne’s Partners and Providers to get involved and match our efforts and we’ll
share your stories right here on our blog. For more information on how to help, please visit Heifer.org”
-Bern Richardson, VP Marketing