Story by Song Jinpin | Beijing Regional Program Manager | Heifer China
Photos by Wang Jinluo | Volunteer | Heifer China
More than a hundred farmers from China's Dadonggou Village slowly gathered in the village square on the morning of May 18, 2013. Men beat drums, women sang and danced, children played games and elders laughed.
Nearby, cattle dressed with red flowers around their necks freely grazed in a small wooded area. Hanging over the festive scene was a banner that read "Heifer Passing on the Gift® (POG) Ceremony in Dadonggou Community."
Around 9 a.m., the POG ceremony began with the beating of drums. Community Facilitator Xu Rong praised project participants for joyfully fulfilling their obligation to pass on gifts. He asked project participants to learn the 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development and actively participate in the village's development.
"What I took over is more than just cattle. It is also care and responsibility," POG recipient Gao Jing said.
During his speech, project participant Guo Haijun happily said, "The Heifer project taught me to breed cattle efficiently, and it was of great benefit. My family received a heifer in the spring of 2011 from Heifer. It gave birth to a calf in the spring of 2012, and another one this last spring."
Guo Haijun talked about breeding cattle in detail and encouraged the crowd of farmers that with practice, knowledge would come. Both donors and recipients listened carefully.
Heifer China has helped increase the number of cattle in Dadonggou Village from zero to 132profiting the village 120,000 yuan, or about $19,600, in 2012. And project participants learned and shared efficient cattle-rearing methods.
Haijun shared, "The scientific breeding methods made it possible for my family to have one calf a year. Today, I passed on not only a heifer, but also the knowledge and technology that I've learned. I hope you will all increase your income in the near future."