ARMENIA FAMILIES RECIEVE CALVES TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS

Source: World Vision Middle East/Eastern Europe office (MEERO)
Reuters, UK
May 10 2006

A poor family with children receives their calf for breeding as part
of a five year cow breeding project in Lori ADP aimed at helping them
build sustainable livestock in the future.

World Vision MEERO, http://meero.worldvision.org Twenty-five vulnerable
Armenian families received a calf last month, as part of a five
year cow breeding project in Lori ADP aimed at helping them build
sustainable livestock in the future.

Fifty per cent of the population in Lori lives below the poverty line,
since the fall of the Soviet Union.

In the framework of this project the Lejan Farmers' Association
received 15 cows from World Vision with the condition of returning 25
calves per annum for redistribution, as well as providing 600 litres
of milk per annum to the local school.

'We are trying to provide poor families with a source of stable income
and an opportunity to become self-sustainable,' says Lori ADP Officer
in Charge Marat Manukyan.

"We lost the only breadwinner of our family when my son died in
Kharabakh war. Your projects bring us hope for life. Just see if I do
not make your gifts flourish into a consistent small farm!' says Robert
Hunanyan, 60, who lives with his wife, daughter, and grandchildren
aged seven and nine.

The cow breeding project, as well as the rabbit breeding project
which started earlier in 2005, have already helped more than 500 poor
families. The expectation is that approximately 1,000 families will
benefit from these two projects. Local schools and kindergartens will
also receive rabbits to start small farming and create additional
funds.

'If not World Vision assistance, we would literally starve. I have
previously received two rabbits, and now this wonderful calf. God
bless you!' said Ashik Matevosyan, 65, who years ago sold all his
property in town to cover debts of his son's failed business, and
moved to village to maintain a minimal existence.

Beneficiaries are required to keep the livestock for at least three
years, so that they serve long-term situation improvement rather
than immediate food needs. While giving priority to poor families
with children, consideration is also given to factors like experience
with animal breeding and availability of barns and fodder, to ensure
compliance with the requirement.

Fostering consistent and sustainable livelihoods is the ultimate
goal of the Lori ADP established in October 2004 with funding from
World Vision UK. Along with its income generation projects, it
implements a number of health care projects and GIK distributions,
and regularly provides training sessions for different community
members and groups on such topics as needs prioritisation, proposal
writing, tax regulations and other relevant topics. The Lori ADP
encourages development of proposals for community-driven projects,
the most successful of which often receive support from World Vision.