First of all, big thanks to our ONE members for supporting our Limited Edition ONE Goat partnership with Heifer International. In the first 24 hours since we launched, you sent more than 280 goats to families in need in Africa. These goats can help pull families out of extreme poverty by giving them milk to sell at the markets, providing a much-needed source of income.
You probably have a few questions of how this works, exactly – so here are some frequently asked questions that Heifer and ONE have answered to help provide you with more detail on our goat partnership.
What kind of goat is the Limited Edition ONE Goat?
The Limited Edition ONE Goat is represented by a Saanen dairy goat, one of many goat breeds used in Africa. Heifer uses animals best suited to the local climate, conditions and cultures, as requested by the groups with whom Heifer works. Donations made through this campaign will be designated for goats in Heifer’s Africa Area Program, which may use different goat breeds, depending on participants’ needs, climate, availability and other factors.
Where do the goats come from? What does Heifer do to ensure that all animals are raised humanely and responsibly?
In most cases, local breeds of animals are selected for the project and the selection is made from good quality stock that is found in the area. However, there are times when an improvement in quality of the local animals is necessary, either within the breed type or from cross-breeding. In this case, the project will start with females and males shipped into the area. This process requires a higher level of training and care. Animals must be quarantined to be sure they are not bringing in foreign pathogens and can become acclimated to local conditions, feeds, diseases and management.
Humane management of animals by livestock keepers is a practice Heifer takes seriously. Animals, when cared for properly, remain healthy, avoid diseases and parasites, and lead active, useful and productive lives. The obligation at Heifer International is to use all practical means to keep animals healthy and productive within the scope of its project partners’ resources through a set of acceptable standards.
Who will benefit from the ONE goat?
Heifer International project participants in Africa will benefit from purchases of the ONE Goat. Participants include smallholder farmers, particularly women. Since 1944, Heifer has helped 18.5 million families. In Fiscal Year 2012 (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012), Heifer assisted 526,369 families in Africa.
What does Heifer do to ensure the long-term health and well-being of gift animals?
Heifer participants undergo extensive training on proper treatment of their livestock, before they ever receive the animals. Heifer’s experience shows that project partners will care for the animal in a way that minimizes stress and satisfies its basic behavioral and social needs.
Moreover, since all recipients of Heifer International animals contract to Pass on the Gift, the whole community is attentive to the well-being of these precious creatures.
Heifer conducts training programs for para-vets, or Community Animal Health Workers (CAHW) when local professional veterinary care isn’t available.
Goats can be very destructive. Are these good animals to send to a family?
Educated management of livestock species can improve the soil, reduce gas emissions and protect water sources. That makes the rearing of animals enjoyable, more profitable and environmentally friendly. Goats in Heifer projects are often raised in zero-grazing pens.
Zero grazing is an approach to animal management in which families contain livestock in an enclosed, shaded area, carry fodder and water to them, and provide them with daily exercise, instead of letting them wander in the open where they are more likely to catch diseases or damage the environment.
How much will ONE make from the sale of the ONE Goat?
Nothing. Nada. Zilch. All proceeds from the sale of the Limited Edition ONE Goat will go to Heifer International. ONE will not benefit financially from the purchase of a goat. But, this program helps alleviate extreme poverty, which is why we are so excited about this new partnership.
Can I track my goat after it is purchased?
For financial and logistical reasons, Heifer doesn’t track animals from individual donation through the distribution process. Meeting the needs of needy families always comes first, but Heifer does its best to accommodate donors’ wishes, too. When donors make a donation for an animal, they’re really contributing to Heifer’s model as a whole. The decisions about what animals to distribute, when, and where, are made at the community level.
Limited Edition ONE Goat purchases will be designated to Heifer International’s Africa Area Program.