Heifer International’s projects in Cambodia got a special visit from a Hollywood actress recently. Serinda Swan is the star of the A&E drama Breakout Kings, and she’s also a big Heifer supporter. She was adventurous enough to travel to some rural villages in the Svay Chrum district, where she visited families whose living conditions have been improved with gifts of chickens and pigs from Heifer.
Serinda supports Heifer International because it connects her interest in animals with her concern about global poverty. She says, “Being able to go on a trip into the countryside with Heifer International was an amazing experience for me. The work that they do is so diverse and vast it blew me away.”
Serinda says she was especially touched to witness a Passing On the Gift® ceremony, where families who had received Heifer animals passed on the first offspring to other needy families. She says it was amazing to witness the generosity that was expressed, and to know that each Heifer gift was multiplying in the community.
Serinda visited a children’s group where village children learn about responsible living. “They sang and taught me how to play some of their instruments. I may need to come back a few times to master them,” Serinda jokes. “But their hearts were so big and welcoming, I felt right at home.”
Serinda also saw a reading group made up mainly of women. As part of its projects, Heifer conducts training in skills like literacy, community leadership, and building small businesses. Serinda says it was impressive to see how group members participated and encouraged each other.
“There is so much more Heifer is doing than just supplying people with animals,” she says. “It’s wonderful to see.”
Serinda is now back in the United States working to raise awareness of hunger and deprivation. She says her visit to the Heifer Cambodia project was eye opening and reinforced her respect for Heifer’s sustainable community development.
“I plan on going back next year and visiting everyone again,” Serinda says. “I cannot wait to see how far they have come, with the courage and determination that I witnessed.”