By Anna Arakelyan | Development Principles NGO
Translated by Emma Sargsyan | Media Coordinator | Heifer Armenia

Davit is a young schoolboy who lives in the community of Lernagog, which is in the Armavir region of Armenia. As one of the most promising students in the business education direction of the local YES! Youth Club, he decided it was high time to start his own business and generate his own income.

In this endeavor, the help he received from the YES! Youth Club, supported by Heifer Armenia and Development Principles NGO, was indispensable. The club not only provides its young members with skills and knowledge, it also supports them materially. ?he students of the business education direction had to prepare business plans for the projects they were aiming to start and present them to the club’s management team. After all of the proposals were reviewed by a committee, those determined to be the most realistic were awarded AMD 40,000, or around $100, toward starting the project.

After turning to his main and most important advisers – his parents, Davit made up his mind. Just like his parents, he was going to engage in pig breeding. He prepared a very thorough proposal, performed a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, and realistically presented all the obstacles his project might face. The Heifer experts considered his proposal quite realistic and, in 2012, awarded him AMD 40,000, or around $100, to make the first steps in starting his own business. Seeing his enthusiasm, his parents and relatives eagerly supported Davit with advice, when needed. They also matched the YES! Youth Club’s monetary gift as motivation for him to work harder and strive for more.

In March 2012 Davit purchased two piglets, a female and male, for AMD 25,000, or about $60, each. He spent AMD 10,000, or around $40, on barley flour, and AMD 2,000, or around $8, for 5 kilograms of sugar.

“Now it is a bit hard, since some time is needed for the results of my project to be seen,” Davit said. “I haven’t sold any piglets yet, and I will need some more money to buy feed for them. However, my family and relatives have promised to support me in this, before I generate my first income. I will start selling the piglets next year.”

Davit has meticulously planned and designed every aspect of his business. He looks forward to accomplishing his Passing on the Gift® (POG) commitment in March 2013. Feeding and caring for his pigs through March will cost him approximately AMD 170,000, or around $420. When he sells the male pig, which is expected to yield around 65 kilograms of meat, Davit will collect AMD 2,800, or around $6.90, per kilogram, for a total income of AMD 182,000 income, or around $450. After expenses, Davit will have a net profit of AMD 12,000, or around $29, plus the piglets.

“Davit has prepared a very realistic program,” said the club’s business trainer. “He takes very good care of the pigs. The barn was also very clean; so were the animals. Moreover, when visiting them I saw a surprising thing. Usually pigs avoid people. When someone approaches them they try to run away. Everyone knows that. But this was not the case with Davit. As soon as the pigs see him, they run toward him to meet him, as if they had been missing their young owner. It was indeed funny and surprising at the same time. Well done, Davit!" Indeed, these schoolchildren are doing an amazing job. So are Heifer Armenia and Development Principles NGO.

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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.