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When the floods came, Iryna Paviluk's life was nearly washed away. When Heifer came, she was able to rebuild it.
In 2008, floods devastated Chernivtsi Oblast in western Ukraine. Iryna's house was destroyed, her orchards flooded and her animals lost. While government response to the disaster took some time (years, even), Heifer responded to her community's request for a development plan almost
immediately.

The two Heifer projects that the region participated in brought heifers, sheep ducks and potato seeds to the area. They also brought horses of the native Hutsul breed back-- a cultural preservation effort that is the source of great pride among the local people.

Since the projects have started, Iryna has been able to rebuild her home and livelihood and even more impressive-- complete two university degrees. "I am very happy that people in my community were able to benefit from
these projects. I am appreciative that Heifer was able to respond very quickly," Irina says.

The agricultural coop Iryina participates in is one of the largest in Ukraine, with more than 600 members. It's involved in milk collection in Western Ukraine and has positively impacted
Both its members and the communities it serves.

From desperate circumstances, Iryna has been able to rebuild a life and lifestyle. For her strength and resilience in successfully implementing projects (while pursuing her university degrees) Iryna was nominated for Heifer's Golden Talent Award. She is an inspiring person and a shining example of the kind of smart, hard working people with whom Heifer Ukraine is privileged to work.

Author

Bill Fitzgerald