Yes, Pierre Ferrari is "good copy," but I think there's another reason that he's been interviewed four-five times on his current trip to Ukraine. To paraphrase James Carville, "it's the work, stupid."
In fact, while Pierre was interviewed for a Ukrainian newspaper at one table in our hotel, county director Victor Teres was being interviewed at another table for a Ukrainian television network. I interviewed the interviewers afterwards to find out why.
Lena Shramko of "Kontrakty" magazine covers agricultural issues in Ukraine. She's very selective about the people she interviews. When the head of the oblast (similar to a state) council suggested she talk to Heifer International, she followed through. Her impression: the work is very positive, especially in light of the difficulty Ukrainian farmers face in securing credit. The topic is very top-of-mind here, and was the subject of government-sponsored round table discussions this summer. "There's not a lot of analytics on the subject and I was eager to meet someone new and hear what they have to say." Lena left the interview interested and impressed; she will publish the interview and provide footnotes and background information on the organization in an upcoming interview.
Tetjana Motsyk covers European issues for UTR (Ukrainian TeleRadio Broadcasting). UTR broadcasts worldwide to the Ukrainian diaspora. Like Lena, she was also unfamiliar with Heifer, and came to cover the organization on assignment. Because her beat exposes her to international partnerships, she wanted to find out what Heifer is all about. With her interest in international development, she said she will tell her audience about Heifer's mission, work, results and commitment in Ukraine.
OK, I'll admit I was hoping both journalists would gush and wax eloquent about our work here, but that's not what journalists do, right, Annie Bergman? But bottom line: there IS a great interest in our work here and that's gratifying. These journalists are part of the international media; they're interested, and they're reporting. That in itself is a victory for Heifer. The more people know, the better. Feel free to share this link with your friends, by the way.