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

Armenia-Woman-Day-1Editor's note: Empowering women is at the core of Heifer International's model for sustainable development. In honor of International Women's Day on March 8, this week we are sharing stories of the women with whom Heifer works, who take the gifts of livestock and education to produce extraordinary results for themselves, their families and their communities.

Article by Katya Cengel, photos by Geoff Oliver Bugbee, who recently traveled to Armenia for World Ark magazine.

TEGHENIK, Armenia—Tsovinar Davtyan doesn't remember her mother. Her
father died when she was 13. She wasn't going to lose Seryozha, so she
married him at age 15.

"Who would let this kind of guy go?" she laughs, gesturing toward the
quiet man beside her.

She is 67 now, with spiky white hair and tanned and leathery skin.
Seryozha is 70. He remains silent while his wife does the talking, often
answering questions in a way that leaves her audience laughing. During
Soviet times Seryozha drove a tractor on the kolkhoz, or state
collective farm, and Tsovinar cut hay. In 1964 they built the four-room
stone house they now share with their son, Maksim, his wife, and their
three grandchildren. In winter the only warm room is the main one, which
is heated by a wood stove.

Armenia-Woman-Day-2Maksim works as a driver at a nearby military base while they work the
land, growing potatoes, beans, tomatoes, peppers, apples and pears.

Tsovinar turns the apples into vinegar and cans the other vegetables to
last them through the winter. She also turns milk into cheese for the
family's consumption and to sell. When asked how long it takes to make
cheese, she smiles mischievously.

"It depends on my mood," she says. "If I'm in a good mood, it takes me
three hours. If I am in a bad mood, it takes one and a half."

Tsovinar is usually in a good mood. Her family was one of several chosen
by Fuller Foundation to receive an interest-free home repair loan.
Heifer Armenia partnered with Fuller to provide cows to loan recipients
so they could have a source of income with which to pay off their loans.

Tsovinar's home has yet to be repaired, but she received her cow, Sona,
in 2009, and has already passed on one of its calves. She has one other
cow and two calves and generates about $100 a month through the sale of
cheese. The money is put toward university expenses for the two oldest
grandchildren. The youngest grandchild, Harutyun, is only one, 14 years
younger than his next oldest sibling. He was an unexpected surprise his
grandmother calls "our great victory". Everything she does now is for
her grandchildren.

"I have seen whatever I would like to see in my life, I don't need
anything more for me," she says. "Everything is for my grandchildren."

When asked whether she could use new shoes she replies "let my
grandchildren have new shoes." But standing outside her small home, with
its leaky asbestos roof, she does have one request.

"I am still waiting for my roof."

Armenia-Woman-Day-3

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
{{ (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