Janakpur, Nepal – Heifer Intentational’s CEO Pierre Ferrari listens to a group meeting of the Pooja womenâs group in open school building. 21 members 7 Brahmins, 5 mid-caste and 7 lower caste. It gets dark and meeting is lit by candles and car headlights by the end. The women speak forcefully, with determination. A man tries to interrupt and she just continues, talking over him with confidence as a leader. The formation of this group brought people together. Before the Heifer program they were oppressed. Now together they have power. They said they don’t have to do whatever men tell them to do. Male members now listen to them, they say. Cornerstones training helped make the group stronger.
“We thank Heifer for coming into the village.” Used to be all assets would be bought in manâs name. Increasingly only women buying land. Slowly getting back rights. All members send kids to school. 21 all got buffalo. Some received goats.
Quote from Pierre Ferrari –
“When we were gathered with the whole community where the 21 women as part of the Pooja womenâs group started talking and describing their experience of the change in their lives, which is pretty radical, including the relationship with their men, it suddenly all came together and it was a very powerful experience.
And still though the problem remains there is very little land, very little opportunity and I was wondering how you could move from a 41 family program with a pass on the gift component, how do you get to a thousand or 2,000 families, because thatâs whatâs necessary. Thereâs no question that these 100 families are better off, but how do you get to 1,000, how do you get to 10,000?”