Steve Denne, Heifer’s chief operating officer, celebrates Passing on the Gift

On April 10, 2010, 60 project participants from four self-help groups (SHGs) celebrated a Passing on the Gift (POG) at a school in Proyuth village, Pauk commune, Pauk district, Siem Reap province, Cambodia.

The project, “Restoring Livelihood of Rural Poor Farmers” (ID# 22-0030-06a) has been under way since 2005 with management of a project partner—Federation for Integrated Development Agriculture in Cambodia (FDAC).

Heifer International’s Steve Denne, chief operating officer, and Dr. Mahendra Lohani, vice president of Asia South Pacific programs, presided at the POG celebration, which included more than 100 people, including SHG members, local authorities, government officers, local nongovernmental organizations, Heifer project partners from other provinces, the Heifer Cambodia team, Provuth villagers, school teachers and students.

“April is POG month for Heifer,” said Denne, “so ceremonies like this one are taking place all over the world.”

In the celebration, 12 original families passed on seven heifers and 10 piglets to 12 POG families. Seven of the POG families received one heifer while five other families each received two piglets. The original families passed on not only the animals, but also their care and love to the new SHG members.

“I am happy to become a donor today,” said Mrs. Kang Sa Em, who passed on her two piglets to Mrs. Kleung Sokhom, a new SHG member. “I hope you will take good care of the piglets and wish they are productive. I will go to see you often in helping in technique on swine management,” she added.

“After joining the group, my knowledge and skill in farming have been improved through attending trainings, especially understanding of the 12 Cornerstones,” said Mr. Sok Sove, one the POG families who received two piglets from Mrs. Lach Norb. “Today, I receive more gifts from the group. I am hopeful the two piglets will generate my family’s income in which part of it will be invested in my three children’s education.”

“I have taken care of this female calf for one and half years and waited for this day,” said Mr. Sok Marb, who passed on a heifer to Mr. Kleng Nga. “I know my partner family is as happy as I was when I received the gift from the project. I know the feeling of needy people. So I am committed to pass on what I had received to them.”