Story by Heifer Cambodia Staff
Photos by Toeng Rothy | Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer | Heifer Cambodia
In March and April 2013, Heifer Cambodia self-help groups (SHG), with support from project partners, organized seven ceremonies to celebrate the Passing on the Gift® (POG) of livestock, horticulture, knowledge and skills.
More than 2,450 participants attended, including SHG families, community members, local authorities, and relevant NGOs and government institutions. The POG events were presided over by the Secretary of State of Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Women's Affairs, the Ministry of Rural Development and provincial governors.
During her opening remarks Secretary of State and Ministry of Women's Affairs Chan Sorey said, "I very much appreciated the Passing on the Gift® model of Heifer that provides an opportunity for the poor family to become a donor in helping other poor families, creating strong community solidarity. I hope that families receiving the gifts today will keep their promises and promote a stronger POG spirit throughout the communities. Thanks to Heifer for supporting our poor communities."
Om Kimsea, secretary of state and minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery echoed Sorey's statement, "I am so proud to see poor people become donors. I believe that the gifts provided to the new poor families today will help them reduce their vulnerabilities and enable them to lift out of poverty and live lives of harmony and prosperity."
Secretary of State and Ministry of Rural Development Sao Chivorn agreed, "This passing on the gifts of animals, seeds and trees from poor to poor families is very important, starting a chain of giving to all people in community. Our farmers are dependent on agricultural activities and because of the project and the POG model their living condition can be improved. On behalf of the Ministry of Rural Development, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Heifer Cambodia and Cambodian Farmer and Economic Development for helping the poor in this community."
More than 820 project families passed on 119 cattle, 822 swine, 3,475 chickens, 115 kilograms (about 250 pounds) of vegetable seeds, 656 fruit tree seedlings, 104 kilograms (about 230 pounds) of animal feed and 9,143 kilograms (about 20,000 pounds) of rice to 820 new project families.
"I am so happy that I can be a donor to help another needy family," donor Sim Soeb said to a recipient family. "I am giving this gift to your family and I hope you and your family will take good care of the animal and grow vegetables with good yield to improve your living conditions and pass on the gifts to other families."
POG recipient Chea Sambo replied, "Words cannot express how happy I am to receive the gifts. I promise to take good care of the animal and improve my home garden so that I can pass on to other needy families, and become a donor like your family. Thanks much to your family and to Heifer."