No javascript detected! Our online shopping basket requires javascript. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER
Return to World Ark Blog Landing

Story and photos by Katya Cengel

Suman Kumari was in 5th grade when her parents pulled her out of school. Her father told her she had studied enough for this lifetime.

“At rebirth from the womb of some other mother, then you can study whatever you want, or to whatever standard [grade] you want,” Laxman Meena told his eldest daughter.

Suman’s mother didn’t argue. She never went to school and cannot read or write. Like her husband, Moti Meena felt it was not important for their daughters to be educated.

Then, three years ago, Moti sent Suman back to school, telling her to study hard so she could help Moti with the family’s finances. Suman adjusted well despite having been out of the classroom for four years. She is now 17 years old and in the 8th grade. Her mother relies on her to read road signs when they travel. Moti herself can now sign her name, but it was not her daughter who taught her this skill, it was the women in her self-help group. The group has transformed Moti’s future and just as importantly the future of her daughter Suman.

Female-centered self-help groups are the basis of Heifer International’s work in India, said Abhinav Gaurav, technical liaison officer for Heifer India.

“The idea is to better the situation for women in a country that does not value them in the same way it values males,” Gaurav said.

Groups of 20 to 25 women meet once or twice a month and are offered various social, educational and economic trainings in addition to a savings and loan program and the support of their peers. While Heifer does supply goats in the region, Gaurav said that development here is not so much about livestock distribution as “transforming people and producing a deeper level impact.”

Moti’s family lives in a one-room thatch-sided home with a dirt floor in the hamlet of Moradi, where Heifer has been working since 2009. Of the 25 families in the settlement, 10 are associated with Heifer. In three years she has become more accepting of the different castes and tribes that populate the region and has saved 3,500 rupees ($70), which she plans to put toward replacing her home’s walls with concrete. Although she cannot remove her savings until she leaves the group, a condition that enables the group to lend money, she can borrow money at low interest rates. It was Heifer’s training on gender issues that convinced Moti and Laxman to put Suman back in school.

“After we received the gender training the whole community put pressure on us to put our daughter back in school,” Laxman said.

Both Laxman and Moti now want their eldest daughter to complete 10th grade. Moti already believes that her daughter is more knowledgeable than she was at her age. But despite all she has learned, Suman remains impressed with her mother’s wisdom.

“I see mother as a role model nowadays because she has gained knowledge and skills,” Suman said. “I want to be like her.”

This Mother's Day, celebrate your mom by helping provide for another mother in need.

Author

Donna Stokes

Donna Stokes is the managing editor of World Ark magazine. She has worked for Heifer International since September 2008 when she leaped over to the nonprofit world from a two-decade career in newspaper journalism.

Free Download

You only need to enter this information once to download digital resources.

My Basket
Need Help?

Basket Summary

edit

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }}

Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ {{ product.price | currency }} Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ FREE Monthly
{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }} Free

No products in cart.

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }} Sub-total {{ cartSubTotal | currency }} Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }} Monthly Total {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

edit

Billing Address

{{ billingAddress.first_name }} {{ billingAddress.last_name }} {{ billingAddress.address_1 }} {{ billingAddress.address_2 }} {{ billingAddress.city }}, {{ billingAddress.state }} {{ billingAddress.zip }} {{ billingAddress.country }}

Company

{{ billingAddress.company }}

Shipping Address

{{ shippingAddress.first_name }} {{ shippingAddress.last_name }} {{ shippingAddress.address_1 }} {{ shippingAddress.address_2 }} {{ shippingAddress.city }}, {{ shippingAddress.state }} {{ shippingAddress.zip }} {{ shippingAddress.country }}

Basket Summary

Step 1 of 2 Step 1 of 3
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
All major credit cards accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Your basket has been updated.
The following item(s) are now sold-out or unavailable and have been removed from your cart:
-{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle}} ({{ product.quantity}})

{{ nag.title }}

{{ nag.description }}

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }} To: {{ product.giftCardRecipientName }} From: {{ product.giftCardSenderPrint }} Email: {{ product.giftCardRecipientEmail }} Delivery: {{ product.giftCardDeliveryDate }} Message: {{ product.giftCardMessage | truncate '200' }} Activation Code: {{ product.giftCardCode }} Delivery: {{ product.additional_info['deliveryDate'] }} Message: {{ product.additional_info['personalMessage'] | truncate '200' }} 1 {{prods["title"]}}

{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }}/month
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
${{ product.price }}
$ {{ product.price }} Free
Monthly
Remove
Subtotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
Monthly Subtotal {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}
It's not a hand out. It's a hand up.

For maximum impact, try adding a few items to your basket.

Browse The Gift Catalog
Secured Checkout

Increase Your Impact with a Donation Visit the Gift Catalog

Make an even bigger impact with a donation from our Gift Catalog

Responsibly-Sourced, Artisan-Friendly Gifts Shop the Marketplace

Shop the Marketplace for responsibly-sourced, artisan-friendly gifts
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
All major credit cards accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
All major credit cards accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
All major credit cards accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary Edit {{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Payment Information

Step 3 of 3
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
All major credit cards accepted

Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.

Payment Summary

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }} Sub-total {{ cartSubTotal | currency }} Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }} Monthly Total {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}

Pay By Credit Card
Pay with
Pay with
We were not able to process your request. Please try again or contact Donor Services at 855.9HUNGER (855.948.6437).
Secured Checkout