This weekly post shines a light on a handful of stories from Heifer.org’s “From the Field” section.
Heifer International works with families to help direct men and women toward gender equality. As men and women participate in projects together, communities develop a sense of unity and respect. After joining Heifer, project participants not only see major improvements in their income and living conditions, but regain trust and hope in their relationships. Where despair may have seemed overwhelming, new beginnings unfold as friendships produce respect and families are reunited.
Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, a 39-year-old Heifer Vietnam project participant, is a resilient woman with a painful past. Trang married her first husband when she was 25 years old and quickly found herself in an abusive relationship. After her husband beat her and threw her into a river for buying rice, Trang divorced him and began a new life. She remarried and is grateful to now have a respectful and honest husband. She and her current husband harvest rice and rent out their tractor to earn a living in their village. Trang works hard to make the most of every opportunity and has hope that her two daughters will live a happy life.
Sriman Thapa, 9, lives in Nepal with his mother and father. He was relentlessly bullied because his parents are “laata,” meaning deaf and mute. The constant teasing established Sriman’s identity with his parent’s disability. When his mother contributed to another family in a Passing on the Gift® (POG) ceremony, the bullying stopped. By caring for her community, Sriman’s mother changed her son’s life and her community’s perspective.
Due to conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Beglaryan family left their Armenian village for several years. They returned home just before the first POG took place. A fellow villager presented the family with a cow, which inspired them to believe in a prosperous future. The Beglaryans want to improve their livelihoods and the economic life of their community. Their belief in this new beginning will help others push forward with hope.