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Evangel social work students to experience poverty in Heifer International program

Published on Sep 23, 2013 by Michaela Smith

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Ten students and two faculty sponsors in the social work program at Evangel University will visit the legendary Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Ark., Sept. 26-28.

Heifer Ranch was created in 1944 to provide livestock to communities in impoverished countries.

Their educational component has been developed to allow participants to experience the realities of world hunger and poverty. The goal is to teach that one person can make a difference.

“This experience is an educational, cultural immersion event focusing on global poverty,” said Lacey Nunnally, director of the social work program.

“We will be part of the Global Gateway Experience, a 24-hour event that places participants in a mock village. Students will have to barter for food and basic necessities. They will sleep overnight as those in Africa, Thailand, or as a refugee might — those who have nothing but a hut, an outhouse and few resources,” Nunnally said.

Because this program is intended to be a real-life experience, participants are not allowed to bring electronics, food, snacks or watches. Food will be provided and will consist of vegetables, grains and protein.

Taylor King, senior social work major, said she feels fortunate to participate in this cultural experience with Heifer International, an organization known all over the world.

“I hope to learn what it is like to experience poverty and hunger firsthand,” King said. “The knowledge I gain from this experience will help me as both a Christian and as a social worker in the future.”


Heifer International was created by Dan West and established in 1944.

At the heart of Heifer International lies Passing on the Gift. The nature of their work allows families to become the cycle of positive change, and those who received Heifer gifts become donors.After their projects are established, families that received resources from Heifer—such as livestock, seeds or training—pass on these gifts to other families in need in their community, allowing them to help others as they have been helped.

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