Meet Stanislaw Debert; at the end of 1945, Mr. Debert was the recipient of one of the 150 heifers sent by the Heifer Project to Poland on the SS Santiago Iglesias. In early October, I had the good fortune to sit and talk with him, his wife, and a daughter in their home near Gdansk about what that heifer meant to them.
At the end of World War II when Europe was seething with displaced persons, Mr. Debert arrived in the area of Gdansk. He fled from Kielce on the roof of a train car with only the clothes he was wearing.
He started his life over with his wife on his allotment of a 50-hectare farm (123 acres). There was nothing to eat, not even fruits and vegetables. However, help was on its way in the form of a heifer from the Heifer Project as well as a horse and canned food goods from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. UNRRA is the organization that provided the shipping for the Heifer Project animals.
The heifer was so important to the family that they kept her in the house with them. The Russians, Poland's "liberators," had been stealing and eating farm animals during that time. The Deberts didn't want that to happen to their beloved cow. She was the only cow on their farm and served them well for the next five years. Sadly, she got sick and had to be put down. Mr. Debert said, "The children cried. It was a very sad time." Even talking about it some sixty-three years later brought tears to his eyes.
Mr. Debert, now 89, asked me how he could thank the people who sent him his cow. I told him I would convey the message for him. And so, to you supporters of Heifer International, and especially those of you involved in the early years, on behalf of Mr. Debert and others like him, I pass on to you their hugs and tears of gratitude and say, "Thank you, thank you!"
P.S. I found Stanislaw Debert's name on a list of recipients from the SS Santiago Iglesias shipment in the process of researching Heifer's first decade in order to write a book about it. While in Europe, I also had the opportunity to meet with German recipients of heifers in 1950. I tell their story in a "Letter to the Editor" in the upcoming Spring 2014 World Ark.
- Peggy Reif Miller
The end of hunger isn’t a fairy tale
Welcome to the Heifer family. Donors, volunteers, recipients and our teams around the world share a common goal: To end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. It’s a lofty goal, but we know it's achievable. Together we are the family that can create this change.
Together we can make cows fly
See stories of how lives are being transformed around the globe through Heifer's work in more than 20 countries.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
The work we do may be serious, but we always need to find the fun.Pierre Ferrari, CEO of Heifer International
For the fifth year children attending Kids Summer Day Camp at the First Baptist Church in Girard have given their support to Heifer International by collecting their pennies. Click the title of this story to read more!
Cindy Wakeland, Director of Religious Education with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana Champaign in Illinois, recently notified Heifer International of an incredible day camp they hosted. Click the title of this story to read more!
If you want to make yourself happy, serve others. If you want to make others happy, serve others.Pierre Ferrari, CEO of Heifer International speaking at the 2015 YNPN National Conference & Leaders Institute
Heifer would like to thank Avery for participating in our first annual honor card contest!
I was one of the adults who visited Heifer Ranch in Arkansas from June 18-20 with the Ottawa Kansas First United Methodist Group. I wrote the following poem about our experience and I plan to read it on August 2nd when we give our presentation to the church. Someone suggested I send it to you! Click the title of this story to read more...
During their second year as Brownies (3rd grade), my Girl Scout troop worked on a journey called "World of Girls." Click the title of this story to read more...
Two teams of cyclists are traversing two different continents all for the same cause: ending hunger and poverty. Click the title of this story to read more...
It’s not every day you hear of 4th graders learning the value of economics. But when Heifer International received a $480 donation along with a letter referencing “mini-society business sessions” taking place during 4th graders’ economic studies, we were intrigued. Click the title of this story to read more...
I am a woman among women, and my family is well respected in the villageGagnessiri Ndiaye, http://tinyurl.com/qhbuvnn