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Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

The life-changing gift of a cow

Two years ago, Juanita’s family were given a cow by ChildFund Bolivia. This gift has not only changed her life, but has also helped to improve the lives of her family and other community members.

To help support her household of six people, Juanita used to earn an income by baking bread for sale in the family’s small, poorly ventilated kitchen. However, this was dangerous as Juanita often inhaled a lot of smoke, and suffered from heat exhaustion and back pain.

These days, Juanita no longer has to work in the kitchen to make ends meet. Instead, she sells the surplus cow milk that her family and other close families in her community don`t consume.

Currently, the family has two cows and three calves – all of which Juanita is able to care for, milk, and breed, due to training she received from ChildFund Bolivia.

“My life is complete,” she says.

“I am a better mother because of these cows, and I am also a leader in the community. I never could have imagined my life would improve so much with the help of just one cow.”

Juanita recently donated a cow to her neighbour Diana, a mother of three young boys. Juanita and ChildFund Bolivia chose Diana’s family to receive the cow based on their needs, their participation in community programs, and because they had enough land for the cow to graze. Now Juanita is able to give back to the community by sharing her skills with Diana and teaching her how to look after the cow, named Cristina.

“I will treat Cristina as my only daughter. I will care for her just as Juanita did. I hope that she will grow strong and reproduce, so that I can also give a calf to someone in the community. My heart is so full and I am very thankful,” says Diana.

It is clear that with the gift of just one cow, the lives of families and communities can continue to be been transformed.

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