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Ion Mondoc believes hard work and diligence are important.

Story and Photos by Laura Manciu | Communication and PR CoordinatorHeifer Romania Staff

Sixty-year-old Ion Mondoc is a man for whom life is all about hard work, acceptance and providing for his children and grandchildren.

Before receiving an Irish heifer as a participant in Heifer Romania’s Chance for All project, Ion did plenty of research about the breed and its benefits to a farmer’s household.

Ion with his calf on his farm, which helps provide for his 28 grandchildren.

“I asked the local vet about the breed specificities and even went with my youngest granddaughter to the library to seek information about the Holstein Frisian cows,” said Ion, smiling.

Ion now has three cows, a horse, a pig and some poultry. He plans to increase the number of animals on his farm and sell milk at the local collecting center. His wife Maria, also 60, loves animals very much.

The Mondoc couple believes a well-kept household ensures food on the table and income as long as one is diligent and wise. Ion worked as a tractor driver for 15 years; at the same time, he was responsible for providing for his large family. Everything he produces on his farm now is for the grandchildren’s upbringing.

Ion said, “I have a good life…God gave me 10 healthy children and they are all happily married, in their own homes and having their own children. I am the lucky grandfather of 28 grandchildren. I have worked hard all my life and always put bread on the table. We had lots of shortages, but we managed to raise our children as long as work was available.”

“It was really hard to provide for such a large family," said Ion. "Life was hard for everyone, but we had one another. As soon as the boys were big enough to work they helped me very much.”

His children went to school, but it was their education at home that first taught them kindness, honesty and fairness. Their father always says, “If you treat people with goodwill you receive the same in return.”


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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.