Story and Photos by Rothy Toeng | Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer | Heifer Cambodia
Passing on the Gift® (POG) is fundamental to Heifer's mission. As people share their knowledge, resources and skills, a global network of hope, dignity and self-reliance is created. Before receiving an animal, project participants are given training to help prepare for the challenges and problems they may encounter.
During the month of March, Heifer International and its partners celebrate POG events that mark the social achievements of self-help groups and reflect on continued community development.
One POG event was conducted by the Disability Development Services Program Organization (DDSP). During this POG, about 500 participants passed on 31 buffaloes, 24 cows, 232 swine, 1,215 chickens, 282 trees, about 155 pounds of animal feed and about 20,000 pounds of rice seeds.
The ceremony was presided over by Chan Sorey, Secretary of the State at the Ministry of Women's Affairs, Heifer's country director and with participation of local authorities, students and teachers in Bot Rodol pagoda, Borodol village, Ptas Rong Commune, Phnom Krovanh district of Pursat province. Participants were welcomed and introduced to Heifer's history, mission, vision and activities, and a sapling was planted as a symbol of improved environment.
Sorey said, "I am very interested in Heifer's and DDSP's insight strategy and implementation of a program to improve the livelihood of poor people with the Values-Based Holistic Community Development model and capacity building to help them to feed the animal, grow the vegetables and other businesses to respond to their basic needs in the community."
At the ceremony, children from DDSP performed a traditional dance and recited poems about their hope for a better future with Heifer. "I am so excited today; I cannot believe that I can learn, be involved with and receive support from the community, because of my disability, with Heifer's support," one child said.
Honorable guests and participants joined together to celebrate the event in front of a stage with their animals, rice seeds and vegetable seeds. Before the event concluded, a representative of the POG families asked Heifer International donors to continue their valuable support for the poor and to build strong relationships with those in poverty around the world.