Living in harmony



When you see Lucian Vancea today, in his village Dragu, you see a warm and open man, but also, with his non-conformist look, out of the ordinary for a typical farmer. As a young man, Lucian embodied the independence of a traveler. Together with one of his friends, he made a few bike trips throughout the country, one of which brought him in the village of Dragu. That’s how he met Monica, a local woman of his age, coming from a poor and numerous family but with a strong sense of commitment and warmth. Both humble and kind people, they decided to start a new life together, hoping to find the stability and well-being that they haven’t been offered before. They got married; Lucian moved in the village and together with his wife rented the house where they now live. One thing they still felt like they needed in order to complete their life together was just a child. As they couldn’t have any children, they took under their roof a nephew that they look after and to whom they offered a home. Cristi, aged 12, now lives with them and fulfills the feeling of being a complete family.



In the fall of 2007, the original placement of alpine goats too place in Dragu, one of the villages included in the project “Alpine Goats for Two Poor Communities”. When Lucian Vancea went at the place of the delivery, he knew this will not be just a lottery draw. Once he got at the meeting point for the placement, and went to see the animals, one of the goats approached him directly and seemed completely magnetized by his presence. That was one of the goats that the odds decided would be his, now called Ciucurel and being one of Lucian’s favorite of the entire herd.
The way Lucian sensed which goat would be his of all that were about to be delivered that day in November is not just an anecdote, but it totally reflects the general relation that he holds with his livestock. The care and affection that he surrounds them with is touching and impressing, and when around him, one can not help noticing the incredible energy that he gives to making sure that the goats are well taken care of.

Started as a backup activity for Lucian, goats breeding had now became his life. Originally a stove maker, one of the last keepers of this traditional craft, Lucian was afraid that soon people will stop appreciating what he does and he will remain without a job. Lucian is a great craftsman, but unfortunately in the area where he lives people can not afford or are not interested anymore in making traditional stoves like he does. Although he still has some work in this field for a few months a year, goat breeding has now become his main occupation, offering him a stable and safe living. Whenever he has to go to work, he knows that he can trust Monica, his wife, and Cristi, their adopted child, as well, to look after the goats, as they are just as handy and preoccupied with raising the goats as he is. Now Lucian feels even more the success of his activity, as he was able to profit from selling one of his bucks to a Dutch farmers’ family who live in Romania.

For all of them, the 5 goats they received from Heifer had meant a new hope and joy, an occasion to be and work together for a common reason. Lucian is completely absorbed with taking care of the goats and analyzing every detail of their evolution, Monica is now happy to be able to use the goat dairy products to feed the family, and Cristi is finding fun and pleasure in getting them out in the field and look after them in the nature and even learning on his own how to do the milking. When asked what are his plans for the future, if he wants to invest more and maybe start making a profit from the goat milk products, Lucian answered openly that his only goal is to make his family feel good, live a simple life and be able to sustain themselves. Living completely out of the resources that they produce on their own, in total harmony with nature and in understanding with their livestock, Lucian, Monica and Cristi are a true example of low-impact living and prove that fulfillment can be attained by living a simple life.


Lucian Vancea and his family in Dragu



Goat breeding proved to be exactly the occupation to Lucian, Monica and Cristi together for a common goal, as they all participate in the process which induced them a feeling of belonging to a family. Lucian Vancea and his family is among the beneficiaries in which one can see the dedication and love for the animals that Heifer is looking for when choosing all the beneficiaries of the projects, inspiring and motivating.

Corina Bucea
Program Assistant
Heifer Romania

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