Story by Song Jinping | Beijing Regional Program Manager | Heifer China
Photos by Gao Yi | Beijing Regional Program Officer | Heifer China
On June 29, 2013, Shuishitang Village held a Passing on the Gift® (POG) ceremony in which 71 Heifer China families donated livestock to 69 impoverished families.
"The successful POG in Shuishitang is the first case in Laiyuan County poverty alleviation history," the Laiyuan Poverty Alleviation Bureau deputy director said. "The work done by Heifer has set a model for Laiyuan's poverty alleviation work. Heifer's project model is worth learning."
Despite busy schedules, officials from the county government, County Poverty Alleviation Bureau, Animal Husbandry Bureau and Liujiazhuang Township Government attended the ceremony.
The project began in December 2010 when 100 poor families received 200 Simmental cattle from Heifer International. Over the next two years, local farmers learned new technology for raising cattle.
Participants developed an ecological cattle rearing industry and became the largest breeding group in Laiyuan County. The number of cattle increased from zero to more than 300.
Secretary Zeng from Laiyuan Agriculture and Industry Committee said, "The change of Shuishitang, this remote village, is reflected on the farmers' smiling faces and cows' moos. The Heifer project is a great one in the aspect of poverty alleviation and income increase."
Shuishitang farmers have built confidence in their newly established income. They are thankful to Heifer for financial stability and work to help others rise out of poverty.
"The reason why Heifer is successful is because it helps change the traditional idea of waiting, depending and asking, and it helps farmers learn a new technology of earning money," Zeng said. "We should borrow Heifer's management and promote poverty alleviation in the whole county."