Heifer CEO Pierre Ferrari celebrates with the women's group in Khayarmara as they dedicate a new community building. Heifer CEO Pierre Ferrari celebrates with the women's group in Khayarmara this week as they dedicate a new community building. Photos by Geoff Oliver Bugbee

KHAYARMARA, Nepal—Look no further than the faces of the Mahottari women's group for evidence that Heifer is helping small farmers make real change in their communities.

The building in Khayarmara was just a plan in this 2011 photo. The building in Khayarmara was just a plan in this 2011 photo.

Two years ago, Heifer CEO Pierre Ferrari helped the group place the cornerstones for a community building the group believed would help unify and empower them to reach even greater goals as part of their original goat project. They set a goal and determined how long it would take them to achieve it. They then began to work with purpose to make it happen.

The women did their own fundraising for the project and also received matching funds from Heifer Foundation of $850 to help them complete it. In addition, more than 50 farmers donated many weeks of labor to help build the community center.

This week, Ferrari celebrated their achievement, determination and forward momentum with a ribbon cutting and celebration, pressing them to continue setting new goals. Their next project will be saving up to purchase a truck they can use to transport goats to market.

"This building is a physical manifestation of their commitment to self-reliance and full participation, two of Heifer's key Cornerstone values," Ferrari said. "The project was done faster than planned and under budget. Their success is an inspiration not just to me, but to groups like them all over the world who see that whatever they can imagine they can make real with their own hands.

"I'm honored to join them in celebrating their hard work and love of community."

Ferrari is in Nepal this week as part of a Heifer Board and executive staff visit.

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Author

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.