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Story by Sayeed Islam, Program Manager for Pally Bikash Kendra (PBK)-Heifer Partner

In 2010, Shamsunnahar became an original member of the Khakchak Mohila Samity Women's Group of Pally Bikash Kendra, one of the Heifer's partners implementing Building a Poverty Free and Equitable Society (BPES) project at Raipura, Narshingdi. With her decision to join the Heifer project came hope for a better future. As Shamsunnahar became familiar with the 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development and started practicing them, she realized that some vital ingredients were missing from her life. Eunus received Cornerstones and Gender training, too. When Shamsunnahar received the gift of a young bull worth $134, from the project, it was like a dream come true. Eunus had longed for a cow or bull of his own, but couldn't afford one. He started taking good care of the bull – arranging fodder for the animal, giving it a bath when it was extremely hot, giving it shade. Despite his lack of experience raising animals, Eunus had a basic concept of how to do it correctly. Attending a three-day improved animal management workshop increased his knowledge and skills. The animal grew so fast, and Shamsunnahar was grateful for her husband's help. After 10 months, Eunus took the bullock to the nearby market, where it sold for $611.

The extra cash fueled their dream for a better life. They bought another milk cow for $342 and leased a pond and 1,450 yd² plot of land. Eunus raises fish in the pond and helps his wife grow vegetables on the land. He no longer leaves home to sell labor and is able to spend more time with his family. Even more of their dream came true when they were able to send their only son to work for a company overseas . They made this happen by selling milk, fish and vegetables. They no longer have the constant headache of a loan to pay off, and they have even invested in the group savings. Furthermore, Shamsunnahar has passed on the gift of another young bull to a member of her group.

Today, Shamsunnahar is self-reliant and happy to be able to contribute to her family and society, but she gives half the credit to her husband Eunus. Without his cooperation, it would have been very difficult to reach where they are today. Eunus credits Heifer's 12 Cornerstones with changing their life and teaching him many things. Now balanced, they look forward to a better future.

Author

Erin Snow

Erin Snow joined Heifer International in 2007 after earning a degree in Mass Communication from UALR. She lives in Sherwood with her husband and daughter. Passionate about cultivating positive and healthy relationships with her family, friends and the planet, Erin enjoys yoga, meditation, music, creative writing and travel.