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 by Rachna Paliwal | Finance Manager | Heifer India

I have never felt more humbled in my life. These women did not have much, but you couldn’t have seen happier and more content faces.

We took the early morning train from New Delhi to Alwar city and then a taxi to Pratapgarh. En route we crossed the dense forest of the tiger reserve of Sariska. It took us around two hours to reach our destination, Kiro ki Dhani village. What came next can only be described as an experience worth remembering.

After the initial warm greeting, we were taken to a small meeting room, a makeshift shade of local wood and thatch, where the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. Each of the women from the Self-Help Group (SHG), Shri Mata Hod ki Dhani, introduced themselves.

They presented information about their group’s savings through charts. They told us how they give loans to the group members and how they are repaid. It was clear that most of the loans were taken to meet various requirements, such as weddings in the family, buying small plots of land or purchasing cows or more goats. What impressed us was how the group went about assigning these loans to members. They base awarding loans on the level of need.

Each of the women received the gift of a goat and are now planning to pass the gift on to others. They had received training in self-help group management, Heifer's 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development, gender, and Improved Animal Management, through the facilitation of Heifer International. I was eager to hear from them how it had impacted their lives. They were eloquent and told us about the poverty they faced earlier and how a community facilitator talked them into forming a SHG, and how over the last eight years, they have not looked back. They have only moved forward toward sustaining themselves, securing themselves, improving their lifestyles, dreaming things they had never imagined and, to an extent, fulfilling them and, in the midst of all this, creating an identity for themselves. Together these women have achieved what they wanted and they continue to seek ways to improve. Give them a business idea and they will start asking you for more information, discussing how they can go further.

They have now collectively brought electricity to their village, dug deep wells to access water in the arid lands of their village and traveled across the Indian subcontinent to meet other women’s SHGs, to whom they offered suggestions and support based on their own experience.

They feel empowered. Their family and husbands now respect them. Their voice is no longer ignored. Although some still hide their faces beneath their ghunghat (veil), the voice that emanates is no longer a whisper; their point is made. They have arrived and bask in the glory of their united efforts. Though the road ahead seems rocky, they are not too shy to fight. They are truly women of substance.

On our way back, the evening sun is glowing with all its strength and I try to summarize my day, and a sentence from one of the women keeps coming to my mind: “Mheh sab kar lenga” (We will do everything we can), and I say a small prayer for their success.

Find out how you can help empower women to change their lives.

Author

Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.

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
{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }} Free
{{ (product.price) | currency }} You've chosen to make this a monthly donation.
Monthly

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 }}

{{ 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.
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' }} 1 {{prods["title"]}}

{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }}
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 }}
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.
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.
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.
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.

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 }}

Pay By Credit Card
Pay with PayPal logo
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