Story and Photos by Aram Petrosyan | Program Coordinator | Heifer Armenia
Translated by Liana Hayrapetyan | Communication and PR Coordinator | Heifer Armenia
During a 2011 Passing on the Gift® (POG) ceremony, the Tukhtaryan family of Choratan, Armenia, received a pregnant cow from Heifer International participants in the Chinari Cattle Breeding Project.
Lyovik Tuktaryan, 58, and his wife Silva, 58, are proud of their three sons, Aygavard, 29, Artur, 26 and Arkadi, 24. Aygavard and his wife Anush have two daughters, Syuzanna, 5 and Karineh, 4.
Before becoming Heifer project participants, Lyovik and his sons grew vegetables and grapes, which they sold to cover family expenses. At the time, these sales were their only income and did not fully support the large family. Making ends meet was difficult, but the addition of their new heifer made a tangible change.
"We are extremely happy that now we have a cow and its two calves," Silva said. "We could never afford this if not for Heifer. We cultivate only part of our lands and the income from it is very limited. The cow has changed our life. Now we have fresh dairy products daily. Sometimes we even sell the surplus of milk or barter it with other food in our local market."
Silva's daughter-in-law, Anush, added, "My daughters have the tasty cheese and butter with bread every morning before going to kindergarten. I know this is very healthy and useful for growing kids. They also love to a have a cup of milk every evening before going to sleep. I'm indeed thankful to Heifer for providing us the cow, which serves as a stable source of nutrition for my children."
"We became Heifer beneficiaries in 2011, but it is already five years that we have witnessed the honest and humane work of Heifer in our community," Lyovik said with gratitude. "In our village there are many other families which also received assistance from Heifer. Heifer helped them to ease their family's burden. Thank you Heifer!"