Healthy, thriving animals contribute to healthy and thriving communities.

Animals are part of Lutheran World Relief programming because healthy, thriving animals contribute to healthy and thriving communities.

We work in rural farming communities because those in poverty often live in rural settings and rely on agriculture for survival, including livestock. Our programs focus on small-scale farming, not large-scale industrial meat or dairy production.

We work in partnership with communities to develop programs that align with local culture, tradition and foods, which include animal products. Livestock provide nutritional food products including meat, eggs and dairy products (like milk and cheese), and non-food products such as fibers and dung for compost.

Globally, livestock ownership is a critical cultural and economic asset. Families that own livestock are more financially secure and are better protected from crises. Much like a savings account, livestock provide an additional income stream, making families less vulnerable to loss of income from drought or other hardships.

Additionally, livestock ownership is an empowerment tool for women worldwide. Caring for small livestock is often the responsibility of women and supporting a woman’s access to and ability to care for livestock helps her better care for herself and her family.

Caring for animals is a priority for faming families and our staff, consultants and partner organizations.

Livestock are valuable economic and cultural assets for farming families. They care for the animals because they are a source of their livelihoods and even a foundational aspect of families’ identities and social status. Our agriculture programs that include livestock incorporate animal husbandry training and veterinary care to help farmers raise healthy and productive animals.

We conduct regular evaluations of all programs and perform due diligence of staff, consultants and partner organizations to ensure our teams are highly experienced, capable and caring.

Here are some examples of how you support families when you give the gift of an animal:

In the Sahel region of West Africa, you help smallholder farmers cope with severe food crises driven by conflict and cycles of drought and food shortages. In Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, you provide emergency stocks of fodder so farmers can continue to feed and care for livestock that they would otherwise lose to disease and starvation or be forced to cull.

In rural communities in Mali, you improve animal, household and community sanitation practices so that both humans and farm animals can live in healthier conditions, exposed to fewer diseases.

In Yemen, you help smallholder farmers raise healthy livestock. You provide emergency funds so farmers can vaccinate their livestock and purchase fodder. You also educate farmers on best practices in feeding and fodder storage.