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16 Feb
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Author Sharing Event

Date: Feb 11, 2017

Venue: SKH Fung Kei Primary School (4 Tak Ting St, Hung Hom)

Activity:

A Taiwanese children books’ author shared with over 100 parents and children on how reading empowered us, while a local bibliophile Uncle Monster recommended a few children books.

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30 Aug
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New Ways in Raising Cattle and Marketing Save a Village

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Huashulin Village, located in Hebei Province near Inner Mongolia, finds itself covered by snow for four months a year.  Residents make their living mainly by farming.  With an average income per capita of only 1,600 yuan in 2011, they barely had any money to spend on livestock.  In 2012, Heifer started a project in Yudaokou Township.  Attracted by the idea, villager Xiao Zhangsheng, decided to quit his job elsewhere and returned to his village to raise cattle.

Results Speak for Themselves

However, things did not go smoothly with the project initially.  The plan was for 200 households to adopt the new method of raising cattle in barns, which would improve animal health and productivity.  Unfortunately, despite continuous efforts, locals were still largely reluctant to change and challenged the cost-effectiveness.  As the Community Coordinator, Xiao finally persuaded 14 households to pilot the new method after 3 months’ hard work.  Even though there was little support, he was not discouraged – he believed that the results would speak for themselves.

By winter, the first batch of cattle already grew up very well using the new method.  As Xiao expected, villagers changed their minds after seeing some proofs.  In less than two years, all 200 households adopted the new way.  Xiao became the project technician and was excited to have won the trust of fellow villagers, “The new technique has finally established itself here!  I hope this will lead everyone out of poverty.”  After one year, the community’s income increased by more than 2.29 million yuan.  Xiao’s family also doubled their annual income to 48,000 yuan, and now owns a herd of 23 cattle.

Remarkable Progress Made Through Cooperative Development

To Xiao, Heifer not only taught him the way to raise cattle.  More importantly, Heifer showed him that integrating production with the market was crucial to rural development.  In late 2013, Xiao managed to drum up support for establishing the “Linteng Crops Cultivation Professional Cooperative” and registering the trademark “Ganzhimei.”

Xiao suggested developing products that were local specialties, such as organic oats, linseed oil and potatoes to improve income, and growing corn to make silage for livestock, while preparing organic fertilizers from animal waste to avoid pollution.  Heifer also assisted the cooperative in testing products, improving processes and packaging, as well as starting an online store on Weidian, an e-commerce platform in China.  In just a year, the cooperative saw a significant increase in its membership, from a five to 90.

Xiao is very ambitious about the cooperative’s future, “We will continue to develop organic farming and husbandry, combining it with eco-tourism at the nearby national park to further improve villagers’ income.  We aim to plant organic Chinese herbs, build oatmeal processing factory and develop health products from linseed oil by 2020.  Meanwhile, the cooperative will invest more time in building the brand and develop more markets for Huashulin’s organic products.”

Grazing on Mountains vs Feeding in Barns

Traditionally, Huashulin villagers graze their cattle freely but this method it takes two to three years for a cow to mature enough for sale.  Additionally, there are only seven months per year when cows are able to breed, resulting in giving birth to only two calves in three years’ time.  The barn method advocated by Heifer requires the farmer to grow nutritious silage crops and build granaries for storage so as to ensure stable supply of feed throughout the year.  To reduce mortality rate, farmers also build insulated barns to maintain the right temperature, ventilation, and lighting for the animals.  This new method shortens the average gestation period from 770 to only 410 days, and enables cows to breed all year long.  It ensures that at least one calf is born every year, creating a stable source of income for farmers in the long run.

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Persons-in-charge of Linteng Cooperative Xiao Zhangsheng (left) and Zheng Liguo (right)

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The Cooperative centralizes the sale of the villagers’ organic products

Linseed oil and oat rice are the bestsellers

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30 Aug
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“Race to Feed” 2017 – New Route, New Challenge

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“Race to Feed” was first launched by Heifer Hong Kong in 2006 as a corporate fundraising event, and has been open to the public since 2013.  So far, more than 6,500 participants have joined the event and over HK$45 million have been raised.

This year, the 10K Run will take place along the Tolo Harbor and in the streets, providing new challenges for runners.  Also, Group Run is now an added option for 10K Run and 3K Fun Run, giving more flexibility to participants.

Event Highlights:

  • 10K & 3K participants who enroll early can redeem a full set of Heifer Gift Pack with 10 items, including commemorative medal, movie and snack coupon, fresh veggie pack and “Heifer Alliance” stationary set (available while stocks last)
  • New 10K route with street section gives runners a new experience
  • 10K and 3K Group Run give runners an opportunity to help the needy families together
  • Free certificate will be awarded to 3K runners upon completion
  • All group runners can compete for the new “Heifer Alliance Style Award”
  • Runners who participated in Race to Feed 2015 or 2016 can redeem a Butao Ramen coupon (limited quotas, first-come first-served)
  • Interactive games with “Heifer Alliance” theme help participants learn how animals can  impoverished
  • Free side attractions such as face painting, balloon giveaway, popcorn and Heifer Alliance photo zone

Date: 2017-11-12 (Sun)

Venue: Sha Tin HK Science & Technology Park Pak Shek Kok Promenade

Minimum Donation:HK$250

Event website: www.racetofeed.org.hk

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30 Aug
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New Term, New Start! Read to Feed 2017-18

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A new round of “Read to Feed” program is about to begin.  This year, we are honored to have the generous support from Wai Yin Association as well as sponsorships from China Merchants Charitable Foundation (CMCF) and Everbright International Environmental Protection Charitable Foundation, allowing us to develop new programs to enrich the experience of participants, including:

  • Book vouchers as awards
  • Everbright Green Energy Study Tour
  • New “Star Caring Award Scheme” workshops: Everbright Green Energy Workshop, Poem Kungfu

Two new donation matching schemes will be launched so that the students’ efforts can better transform into help for those in need:

  • Matching Scheme for Heifer projects in rural China (supported by Wai Yin Association)

Every book read -> HK$1 of donation -> Livestock and training for Heifer recipient families

  • Matching Scheme for local schools (jointly supported by Wai Yin Association and CMCF)

Every participating school -> HK$5,000 of donation -> Funding for new local schools to organize ‘‘Read to Feed’’ and other reading events (estimated two free educational workshops will be offered to every subsidized school)

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