Story and Photos by Nguyen Thai Loc | Community Facilitator | Heifer Vietnam
Translated by Nguyen Xuan Quyen | Communications and Networking Officer | Heifer Vietnam
On February 21, 2013, Soc Thao commune of Phu Tam village in Vietnam became busy, filled with laughter and eagerness, as 125 participants waited to receive a heifer during the project's second animal distribution ceremony.
The project Improving Livelihoods in the Poorest District of Soc Trang Province held its first animal distribution ceremony in February 2012, which provided 150 heifers to 150 original participants in Thuan Hoa village. Each recipient received technical and non-technical trainings conducted by Heifer Vietnam and project partners, as well as funds for vaccines, seedlings and a cow shed. In five years, another 425 needy families will receive similar support from these original members through Passing on the Gift®.
Local government representatives, 125 self-help group (SHG) members and Heifer Vietnam Country Director Dang Thi Doan Trang attended the ceremony. Trang congratulated recipients on Heifer's gifts and encouraged them to take good care of the animals and their families, and also to actively join project activities.
SHG member Truong Thi Thu Ngan, said, "What makes this Heifer project unique is offering us essential tools to better ourselves for self-reliance and sustainability. Furthermore, the Heifer project gives us specific instructions of every step of our business and production. I strongly believe that, after three years, we can pull ourselves through poverty and afford our children's school fees so that they can have a brighter future than ours."
The ceremony ended with smiles and laughter, and the recipients now have new hope for the future.