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Image by Geoff Oliver Bugbee

Story by Katya Cengel
In 2008, Francois Jean Renel received a beautiful chocolate brown cow from Heifer International.

“I named her Patience because I have a lot of patience with her,” he said through a translator.

Francois gave his cow good water to drink and pasture to graze and soon she became pregnant and gave him a beautiful calf. Before long he was able to milk Patience. Every 15 days he is paid 1,500 Gourdes ($37.50 U.S.) for the milk, money which he used to complete his secondary education.

Francois lives in the small community of Fort-Royal in the Petit Goave region of Haiti. There is no secondary school in the community, and when he was younger his father did not have funds to pay for him to finish his school in the nearby city. But with the milk Patience provided, Francois was able to return to school and now, at age 30, he has a certificate which will allow him to go to university.

Patience’s first calf was designated for Passing On The Gift, but her second, born just 22 days ago, is his to keep. In time it is his dream that the milk the cows provide will allow him to save up enough money to attend university.

But it is not just his life that Patience has changed. In addition to giving away Patience’s first offspring, every day Francois gives his neighbors a little of the milk he collects.

“If I didn’t have Patience I couldn’t help other people,” he said. “So Patience helps me to help other people.”


Donna Stokes

Donna Stokes is the managing editor of World Ark magazine. She has worked for Heifer International since September 2008 when she leaped over to the nonprofit world from a two-decade career in newspaper journalism.