Story by Karine Matevosova | Program Coordinator
Translated by Emma Sargsyan | Media Coordinator | Heifer Armenia

Heifer Armenia and the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia’s (FCHA) beekeeping project has flourished in Debed village.

In the spring of 2010, the first 12 families received four beehives each. Later, 13 more families each received four beehives. This year, the first 12 families have passed on the gift. Today I want to tell you about some of the Heifer project participants in the village.

Debed is one of the most picturesque villages in Armenia, and during every visit, I enjoy the beauty of the village and the kindness of its inhabitants. People living here are kind, hospitable, diligent and calm—characteristics shared by almost all inhabitants of the Lori region.

Petrosyan Samvel is one of the Heifer-FCHA project participants who received beehives through a Passing on the Gift® (POG) ceremony from his neighbor. Samvel, 65, lives with his wife, Djemma. Their children are already grown and live in the capital, Yerevan. Samvel and Djemma are retired. They had never had beehives before the POG ceremony, because they could never afford them. Now due to the partnership of the organizations, the family owns a beehive and plans to increase the number of hives after the POG ceremony is completed.

“It’s not an easy task to keep hives and take care of bees,” Samvel said. “You need to be extremely careful and have a basic knowledge in order to become a proper beekeeper. Frankly, I did not have those skills before Heifer came to us with the high-quality training. Now we have bees, knowledge and the helping hand of Heifer and FCHA. All we have to do is to apply the skills gained and take good care of the bees, which will pay off with tasty honey, and therefore, increased income. It’s so simple.”

Another project participant and POG recipient is Ghazaryan Gerasim. He lives alone, and his children live in Yerevan. Now he is a proud beekeeper and has increased the number of his beehives by two. Gerasim is also very happy to have the opportunity to become a Heifer project participant.

Ghazaryan Rafik received bees in 2011 and now is getting ready for the POG ceremony. He and his wife, Anna, 38, have a very small family. The couple has three kids: Zhora, 18, who is now serving in the army, Angela, 19, and Davit, 2. Last year they managed to get 37 pounds of honey from one beehive—a really good indicator for a new beekeeper.

“The amount of honey we got was indeed huge,” Angela said. “We used a part of it for our family consumption, shared another part with our neighbors and relatives and sold the rest. It was indeed a huge help to our family. Thank you, Heifer and Fuller Center.”

All those people have mentioned how helpful Heifer has been for them and expressed their gratitude. Heifer Armenia wants to wish all its project participants the best of success and luck in their undertakings. God bless all of you kind and diligent people.

Author

Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.