Segments in this Video

Leveraging Consumer Culture (03:46)


Heifer International aimed to change consumerism in America by launching an alternative gift giving catalog at Christmas time. Gifts available for purchase include: water buffalo, goats, ducks, rabbits, and camels. Heifer's animal gifts readdress imbalance of consumerism in global market, transform lives, and strengthen local communities.

Transformation After Civil War (03:25)

Maria Raymundo de la Cruz, a Heifer recipient, explains that most people fled her village after it was attacked, but one group stayed and fought back. Paraiso residents held a lottery for the first goats from Heifer International. The gift was passed on through offspring; there are now enough animals to share with nearby communities.

Organic Farming Techniques (04:02)

A culture of sharing in Paraiso benefits the whole community. Heifer supports the training of women in taking care of animals; they hold meetings and make key decisions. Money from the sale of animals helps pay for schools that girls are now able to attend regularly.

Training Provides Unity within Families (03:56)

Maria Cruz Gomez, a villager, does training for Heifer; she also has firsthand experience of war between the guerrillas and the army. Village leaders were carried off or killed and locals lost all hope. Heifer's efforts are helping to repair the economic and psychological damage to families.

Humble Beginnings (02:04)

Jo Luck, CEO and President of Heifer International explains how Dan West, started the company. He was handing out powdered milk to children who would stand in line for hours to get the milk then drink it on the spot. Dan asked himself, "Why not a cow instead of a cup?"

Foreign Aid (02:13)

Most of America's foreign aid goes to Israel, Egypt, and Colombia. Tanzania, one of the poorest countries in the world is not high on the list. Heifer has been involved in the daunting work in Tanzania for many years. AIDS has taken a terrible toll on the country and there is a need for educating children and adults in rural areas.

Camel Camp (02:44)

Camels are given to the people of northern Tanzania. Camels provide a cultural tourism draw to bring in income, which is used to build schoolhouses. Camel milk is like medicine, it keeps children healthy and camels are used to carry clean drinking water from far away.

Camel Problems (02:26)

While the camels have made a significant contribution to improving the quality of life in the village, there have been issues of theft by people from Kenya. Calves have been dying, and the villagers cannot diagnose the disease that is killing them.

Changing Gender Roles (03:38)

Before Heifer’s involvement, women did all the work of a donkey, now they sit and discuss financial matters with their husbands. When men and women work together, it strengthens family ties and reduces conflicts in the home. Milk from goats given to families by Heifer, is nutritious, keeps people healthy, and fights off diseases.

Trying to Rush the Program (03:53)

Terry Wollen, Director of Animal Well Being, explains pitfalls to the Heifer program. There are people who do not want to pass on the animal, or men dominate the program, or children get left with herding animals instead of going to school, or the animals aren't fed the way Heifer expects them to be fed. Every time the community isn't ready to receive animals from Heifer problems arise.

Biogas Powers Stoves (02:58)

Manure from cows is mixed with water to produce a gas for cooking. Using biogas reduces the reliance on burning forest wood, another natural resource that needs to be preserved.

Trading Guns for Animals (04:30)

Dictator Enver Hoxha held the small country of Albania in an iron grip for decades, until his economic scheme collapsed his country's economy. There were no jobs and trouble makers roamed the streets while fearful citizens stayed in their houses with nothing to do. Heifer came up with an idea to trade guns for animals.

Passing on the Gift Ceremony (02:55)

Numbers are assigned to potential recipients who then pick up the corresponding goat; this is done to eliminate claims about someone else getting a better goat. The person giving the goat then shakes hands with the person receiving the goat and wishes that person good luck.

Yak Farmers (03:41)

One of the biggest changes Heifer brought to the Tibetan region of Songpan, China, was in the way they grazed animals. Ji Ya, a Heifer yak recipient, under the instructions of Heifer's partner, the Grasslands Bureau, learned to fence pastures and to rotate grazing by season. Heifer's technical staff helps with birthing and cross breeding of yaks to improve herd quality.

Modernizing Songpan China (02:36)

Modernization is rapidly coming to the Songpan region of China. Tourist buses and new hotels dot the area. Residents have many technological improvements and better food because of Heifer.

Rabbit King (04:13)

Ren Xuping, Rabbit King and Heifer recipient, took two poor quality rabbits and started independently breeding them, but because of inbreeding the rabbits he produced were of poor quality. Heifer International gave him better quality rabbits, now he operates a rabbit training school. He continues to pass on rabbits even though his commitment to Heifer has been fulfilled.

Addressing Global Hunger (01:55)

Heifer continues working with people around the world who do not have enough to eat, have no education, and no access to safe water. By global standards America is extremely wealthy and Heifer believes Americans needs to be taking what gifts they have been given and passing them along to others worldwide.

Credits: Heifer (01:08)

Credits: Heifer

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This program examines the work of the Heifer Project to eradicate poverty around the world by giving animals to poor villagers. The process not only improves livelihoods, but transforms gender roles, environmental restoration, education, and community. Filmed in Tanzania, Albania, China, and Guatemala, the film shows how gift giving in the U.S. can take on a whole new meaning.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL118589

ISBN: 978-1-63521-514-4

Copyright date: ©2004

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video customers.