- Our Work
- Get Involved
- Inside Heifer
- Ideas in Action
On May 12, 2008, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck China's Sichuan province. According to the Information Office of the State Council in China, 69,196 people were killed and 354,045 were injured. In all, the state government designated 10 counties as extremely devastated, and an additional 29 counties in Sichuan Province were listed as severely affected.
Heifer's project in the Sichuan province of China is helping 4,000 affected families in 20 villages. Country program staff provides training on Heifer's Values-Based Holistic Community Development, personal leadership, Heifer's 12 Cornerstones, group management, savings and credit, natural disaster resistance and management, and more. Heifer is distributing a variety of animals to this area in China, including chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, goats, pigs, beef cattle, honeybees and silkworms. Livestock are helping to improve livelihoods while self-help groups (SHG) bring families and communities together. Another 9,000 families are expected to benefit through Passing on the Gift.
Through the "Haihui Project Family Children Painting and Writing Competition," Heifer China asked children of project participants to express Heifer's impact and the change they've witnessed. From the 103 works submitted, 23 children were awarded for their works. After the award ceremony, staff arranged a visit to the Sichuan Panda Station for all the children who participated.
Zhang Xin, a 15-year-old girl in Pengzhou County, won the grand prize. During the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, a wall collapsed on her, injuring her spine. She underwent three surgeries at West China Hospital in Chengdu, but her spinal injury also affected the nerves in her legs, leaving her with a limp and a steel pin in her spine.
Xin lives with her parents, grandmother and younger brother. Because of illness, her father was unable to perform heavy physical work, leaving her mother to care for feeding the family. Besides farming, they raise rabbits and chickens. In spite of her physical challenges, Xin helps her mother with the housework as much as she can.
Xin's mother was one of the first recipients of this project. Participating in the group, Xin's mother often talks about Heifer at home and shares her experiences. Xin's painting, "Heifer in my Eye," is her expression of love for Heifer International and her vision for a better life. Painting is something she learned during her two years of recovery following her injury.
Children's development is an important element of this project, because it helps the community and families to continue to grow and benefit. This competition helps cultivate children's hearts, encouraging them to express themselves, to explore their own potential and to realize their dreams.