I love being a father, it taps me at the most inspiring levels.
Becoming a father is easy enough, but being one can be rough. On top of being a provider, protector and playmate, it is often a father's job to be strong.
Fatherhood for Duong Phu Dong (above) has not always been something to smile about. This couple from Vietnam started out with very little, just a small house near a neighbor's cowshed, but when it burned down, the family lost everything. And being a father got a little harder.
With two growing children, the family's situation couldn't be more dire. Dong, his wife Thuy, and two children were forced to live in their pigsty for two years. And, then, as if to prove things can get worse, Thuy got sick and required surgery. Dong's meager savings were spent paying medical bills, while a promising future for his children and a healthy home to nurture them was unfathomable.
When he heard of a new Heifer project, Dong was eager to learn. He participated in various trainings and found a real connection with Heifer's Cornerstones, specifically Gender and Family Focus. His vision began to change:
"Before this training I had a stereotype that men were more important than women. I made all the decisions for my family and sometimes I failed … Now I share what I learned about gender equity with my wife and we discuss everything together," Dong shared.
Life is very different for Dong as a father and provider now.
His business is thriving – he now employs 150 people from the community. His determination has moved him from poverty, to providing, to leading in his community. He now has 2 cows, and completed his Pass on the Gift requirement just last month! Dong represents dads around the world who just need a hand up to break the cycle of poverty and provide for their families.
This Father's Day, honor your dad and give another extraordinary father like Dong a hand up.
A Heifer gift is a perfect way to show Dad you care. Plus, Dad will never suspect you're considering a goat instead of a tie, and he'll be honored you've given such a meaningful gift.
President and CEO