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Heifer International Thailand is managing a project to assist 1,170 minority families in nine poor communities in Northern Thailand. The target families are being empowered through Heifer's values-based holistic community development approach. This approach uses a variety of methods, including animal placement, agroecology training, self-help groups and training in Heifer’s 12 Cornerstones, to bring change to the lives of people participating in the project.
Heifer provided participants with sows, piglets, fruit saplings, crop and vegetable seeds. Three grinding mills will also be provided to four self-help groups for the production of feed for the animals. The self-help groups will have a clearly defined business plan to manage the mills' operations, group ownership and Passing on the Gift.
Sukit Jawa and his wife, Na Ou, have four sons who are all in school. Their family received two pigs, feed and maize seeds from Heifer. The family has developed a kitchen garden that reduced the amount they spend on food, allowing them to save some of their income. Their pigs have provided them with a means to supplement their income, further improving their financial situation. Sukit has become a leader of his self-help group, receiving training in all aspects of Heifer’s multi-faceted approach.
Members of the community have been eager to participate in the self-help groups and learn new skills to use on their farms. Many of the group members had tried to raise animals in the past, but were unsuccessful due to a lack of training and resources. They are now finding success, learning that they can save money on animal feed through the use of local resources.