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Story and Photos by Karla Narcise-Rodulfo | PME Manager | Heifer Philippines

When a gift is nurtured with love and compassion, it will surely grow in leaps and bounds. The cycle of hope and giving in Sabangan, Mt. Province, Philippines, continues to grow even more than a year after the completion of Heifer's Women Initiated Sustainable Entrepreneurship through Gift-Integrity Values and Environmental Restoration (WISE GIVER) project.

The 44 second-generation Passing on the Gift® (POG) recipient families lovingly organized the third-generation POG with support from original participants and first-generation pass-on families. “It is very inspiring to see that families took the initiative to complete the POG and help their neighbors,” Jun Dom-oguen, Heifer’s program officer for Northern Philippines, said. “They have passed on complete gifts, tangible and intangible. Original and pass-on families have organized themselves to conduct all the trainings for the third pass-on families. Even in the monitoring and ensuring the health of the livestock, original and pass-on families are involved.”

After the project officially ended in June 2011, Community Facilitator Marifee Lucaney was assigned to implement a second project in a different community. Despite her contract with the WISE GIVER project ending, Marifee made sure that she would be available when families need her advice and guidance. Key leaders of the original families agreed that part of WISE GIVER’s sustainability and success was owed to Marifee.

From 50 original families, the WISE GIVER project has a total of 200 partner families, all active and still willing to share. “The mood and festivity in this celebration is very overwhelming," said Lyndell Tagle, Heifer Philippines senior program manager for the field. "It feels like the original placement celebration all over again. You can feel the camaraderie and closeness of the families, and you would not believe they are from different villages and different POG generations.”

Together with the gifts of two pigs, fruit tree seedlings, farm tools, chickens, crop seeds and a revolving fund worth $490 for the two groups, the second pass-on families gave a certificate of completion in the Cornerstones Workshop to the third-generation pass-on families.

Representatives from the Office of the Congressman and Office of the Municipal Mayor, as well as the vice-governor for Mt. Province and community facilitators from other Heifer projects in the province attended the POG ceremony. They praised the WISE GIVER families for accomplishing a feat worth emulating. The celebration was also well-attended by families from the original recipients and the first and second pass-on generations. And, just like any other celebration in Mt. Province, it would not have been complete without singing songs of hope and gratitude.

As the day went on, the high spirit of the families continued to soar and they all looked very hopeful and happy. “We will all see you again during the fourth generation POG,” the third-generation families happily chimed in.

WISE GIVER was implemented by the Igorota Foundation, Inc. (IFI), a Heifer Philippines partner. IFI is currently implementing its second project with Heifer, called Integrating Gift-Giving and Organizing for Over-all Community Transformation Attainment (IGOROTA).

 Representatives from the third generation of pass-on families presenting
Heifer's 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development during the POG ceremony.


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Heifer International

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