Passing on the Gift in Tulghes




April 25, 2010, was a beautiful Sunday morning and the perfect day to organize the Passing on the Gift (POG) ceremony in Tulghes, on the heights of the Carpathian Mountains. This day was celebrated by the communities in the region who dressed up and prepared for this very special moment. Heifer Romania and the project holder, Mountain Agricultures Federation, organized the POG for the Romanian Carpathian Project phase II.

Community members gathering for the POG ceremony

The local partners decorated the scene with fir tree branches and placed a banner above it stating, “Pass on the Gift - Third Edition.” Speeches were held by local and central authorities representatives, all talking about the importance of preserving traditions and customs. The children wore folkloric clothing with the support of the Tulghes Culture Centre Management that presented a series of traditional dances and songs that brought a smile on everyone’s face.

Children and youth presenting folkloric dances


During the ceremony, 110 sheep were passed on to ten families through random draw. Caia Marius (12) finished his performance on stage and ran smiling to his mother, who was standing near the enclosure. The Caia family is one of the ten families that received the passed on gift of sheep. Marius is the youngest child in the Caia family. Caia Mariana (39) and her husband Costica (46) also have two daughters, Adriana (20) and Ionela (22) who is a Biology student. 


Marius petting his new lamb





The Caia family used to keep goats, animals received from the grandparents, but they gave little milk because the region is too cold. Marius' parents decided to ask Heifer for sheep and to be included in the Carpathian project. They are excited to breed sheep and are confident the animals will provide them better nourishment and extra income. Marius is very happy; he will take care of sheep from now on. He is fascinated with biology, just like his sister, and hopes to become a skillful veterinarian when he grows up. All the children of the family help their parents with work around the household and with the livestock.


Marius and his friend playing with the lamb





All Caia family expressed their warm and happy thoughts about Heifer and the project developed in the region. “Heifer gives us the chance to have a better future and to create new possibilities for our children,” said Mariana Caia. Her husband agreed that this way the youth and the children in the community will be able to work and live within the community. "We have hope that our children will stay close to home as new opportunities begin to show for the future,” declared Costica.
Marius and his family believe this Heifer gift will improve their future and with the support and assistance from Heifer staff, the project holder and other project participants, their efforts will thrive. Marius loves the animals and promised the Heifer team he will take good care of them. This 12 year-old child offers a glimpse into a self-sufficient and self-reliant future with people who love the mountains, the animals, the traditions and all customs.
“We want to thank Heifer for this great opportunity to improve the life of our children,” stated Costica and Mariana Caia.

Sheep in the enclosures                                                   

This moment is always a very emotional one, and people see it as the moment when they can finally take the future in their hands. The farmers in Tulghes showed their content of being able to practice an old tradition in modern ways, without needing to leave their birth place, and most importantly, without having to change who they are. They are grateful to Heifer for this chance and all of them fight for the next generation, their children. For them it is the most appropriate way to pass on the gift.



Little girl presenting her traditional clothing

Submitted by Laura Manciu,
Communication & PR Coordinator,
Heifer Romania

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