Poverty Animal Gifting

The Overlooked Key to Alleviating Extreme Poverty: Animal Gifting

Extreme poverty remains one of the most pressing challenges facing the world today. Over 700 million people worldwide live on less than $2.15 per day, struggling to meet even their most basic needs.[1] Many of these families are trapped in a cycle of generational poverty with little hope of escape. However, for the poorest of the poor, prosperity can come in surprising ways to alleviate poverty: animal gifting.

The Persistent Scourge of Poverty

In recent decades, extreme poverty had been on a downward trend, with projections that the number of people living in extreme poverty would drop from 744 million in 2015 to 655 million in 2019.[2] However, the COVID-19 pandemic reversed much of this progress. In 2020 alone, the number of people living in extreme poverty shot back up to 732 million.[3]

This means that even today, a population twice as large as the United States lacks access to adequate food, shelter, sanitation, medical care, and education.[4] The majority of the world’s extreme poor live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, with countries Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia among the poorest.[5] Persistent issues like war, political instability, corruption, drought, and poor infrastructure perpetuate the cycle of poverty in these nations.[6]

For families struggling to survive, education often takes a backseat to meeting immediate needs for food and shelter. Many live in remote rural areas where schooling options are limited or nonexistent.[7] But there is another path out of poverty, one that relies on the inherent growth potential in nature, accessible even to those in the most impoverished and remote regions.

The Power of Farm Animals: Prosperity Catalyst

While education is critical for development, for many living in extreme poverty, investing in farm animals can provide a more immediate and tangible path out of destitution. In the ancient world, wealth was measured by livestock, with the Bible recording instances of Abraham and Isaac’s prosperity through their “flocks and herds.”[8] The same principle applies today. With care and attention, farm animals multiply, providing lasting nutrition and income generation for families.

Organizations like GFA World, World Vision, Heifer International, and others provide goats, cows, chickens, and other livestock to impoverished families as “income-producing gifts.”

These animals can singlehandedly change lives by providing:

  • Milk and meat for improved nutrition[9]
  • Manure for fertilizer and fuel[10]
  • Eggs and offspring to sell for income[11]
  • Labor for plowing, hauling, and threshing[12]

With just one cow, families gain several gallons of nutrient-rich milk to drink or sell daily. Goats require less space, reproducing rapidly to expand the herd. Chickens can provide a daily source of eggs and meat. Pigs grow quickly into a plentiful source of food.

These animals enable families to meet their basic needs, send children to school, improve their homes, and invest in further income generation. In this way, a gift of farm animals, poverty alleviation solution, brings prosperity to families, creating a cycle of growth versus continued poverty.[13]

With support from donors worldwide, organizations continue providing livestock and training for animals, poverty alleviation to create lasting change for families. The gift of an animal can seem so small, yet impacts are profound. For those with nothing, it represents hope, nutrition, income, and a way out of poverty for their children. It shows impoverished families that they are seen and valued.

GFA World notes, “God’s love must be demonstrated in more ways than just through words, it must be seen, felt and experienced!”.[14] Income-generating farm animals do just that. The solution seems so surprising, yet it holds incredible power to lift up the world’s poorest.

Learn more about what is the cause of poverty

[1]   Baah, Samuel Kofi Tetteh. “March 2023 Global Poverty Update from the World Bank: The Challenge of Estimating Poverty in the Pandemic.” World Bank Blogs, March 29, 2023. https://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/march-2023-global-poverty-update-world-bank-challenge-estimating-poverty-pandemic
[2] “Poverty,” World Bank, accessed February 21, 2023, https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview.
[3] Mahmoud Mohieldin and Carolina Sanchez-Paramo, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Global Extreme Poverty,” World Bank Blogs, October 20, 2020, https://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/impact-covid-19-global-extreme-poverty-coronavirus-poverty-health.
[4] “Poverty,” World Bank, accessed February 21, 2023, https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview.
[5] Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina, “Global Extreme Poverty,” Our World in Data, March 27, 2017, https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty.
[6] “Causes of Poverty,” The Borgen Project, January 9, 2020, https://borgenproject.org/causes-of-poverty/.
[7] “Poverty and Education,” Global Partnership for Education, accessed February 21, 2023, https://www.globalpartnership.org/focus-areas/poverty-and-education.
[8] Genesis 13:2, Genesis 30:43, King James Bible.
[9] “Gifts from the Stable,” GFA World, accessed October 8, 2023, https://www.gfa.org/donation/browse/items/from-the-stable/.
[10] “Water Buffalo,” Heifer International, accessed October 8, 2023, https://www.heifer.org/gift-catalog/animals/gift-of-a-water-buffalo.html.
[11] “Chickens,” World Vision, accessed October 8, 2023, https://donate.worldvision.org/give/chickens
[12] “Goats,” Heifer International, accessed October 8, 2023, https://www.heifer.org/gift-catalog/animals/gift-of-a-goat.html.
[13] “Gifts from the Stable,” GFA World, accessed October 8, 2023, https://www.gfa.org/donation/browse/items/from-the-stable/.
[14]   Yohannan, Danny, Dr. David R. Mains, GFA Staff Writer, Karen Mains, and KP Yohannan. “Gospel for Asia Announces a Surprising Antidote to World Poverty: Farm Animals.” What Motivates Us., December 18, 2021. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/gospelforasia/2021/12/a-surprising-antidote-solution-to-world-poverty-farm-animals-2/.