Story and Photos by: Li Mingjie, Beijing Regional Officer, Heifer China
On March 31, the first Passing on the Gift® (POG) ceremony was held in Xiliujing Village, Yi County of Hebei Province. Forty farmer families distributed a portion of the gift fund of 80,000 Yuan, or $12,695, to be passed on to another 16 families in the village. With loving hearts, villagers played gongs and drums to celebrate the POG – the first of its kind in Xiliujing.
When the project was introduced, villagers assumed it would be similar to previous poverty alleviation projects, all of which ended after the distribution of relief money. No one expected the money could be passed on again. Heifer China’s regional office staff and project partners made several visits to the village to share about Heifer’s conception and process and organize a just, fair and open selection process. The families selected to receive the first gifts were the poorest and in the most urgent need of help.
In the year since the project started, the sheep have grown up and lambed, so it’s time to pass on their offspring to new families. Conception training has had a positive impact on the villagers, helping them understand the real meaning of Heifer’s Passing on the Gift®: we should give our favor to others while accepting favor from others.
This gift delivery showed us a new and harmonious Xiliujing with the spirit of mutual aid.