POG Sheep Ceremony in Vrancioaia



On May 2, 2010, the POG ceremony for the “Sheep, Bees, and Reforestation project in Vrancioaia” took place. The project started in the Fall of 2008 in order to increase farmers’ income, improve their nutrition and take care of the environment.


Agriculture is the only activity the villagers can perform here in this salty and rocky region with a long tradition of sheep breeding. The aim of the project, through Heifer’s gifts, is to help these communities to alleviate the harshness of life and to offer them a better future. Another major goal of the project is reforestation of the slopes in order to avoid soil erosion and drought, which is very common in the Vrancea region.


The Passing on the Gift is the cornerstone that ensures the continuity of Heifer’s projects and provides a way to help more and more people who struggle against hunger and poverty. This is the moment when a “living gift” is passed on from a family to other poor and needy families. During this specific event, thirteen families received each ten sheep and one ram.


Two hundred community members gathered in a beautiful orchard, property of the local priest, to attend the ceremony. Representatives of the local and regional administration, the project holder and members of the Heifer Romania team also took part in the event. 


Every Heifer activity is organized in the orchard of the priest, who is very supportive regarding Heifer activities and always offers to help. A stage was set and members of the community presented folkloric dances and traditional songs.


The Dantis family was one of the thirteen POG recipients. Dantis Fani, 31, has been married to Mihaela, 24, for 8 years. They are the parents of a beautiful six-year-old girl, Andreea, and Mihaela is five months pregnant.
They live in house with Fani’s parents, Ion Dantis, 62, and Eugenia, 61. The entire family is living in a small wooden house built by Fani. All their income comes from agriculture. They also breed goats and sell the milk and cheese at the market. They have always wanted to breed sheep, but had no financial power to buy the animals. The grandparents have cows, and they sell the extra milk at the market once a week, while most of it is used for consumption.
Fani and Mihaela were very happy to receive the passed on gift. Their dream has come true, and they will have more products and milk to sell and can therefore gain extra income.


Their existence is far from easy but this family has a big heart. They took in a nine-year-old foster care boy, George, who has some psychiatric deficiencies. “We love George. He is a good and obedient child and he had serious medical problems,” Mihaela said. “Although Andreea is only in Kindergarten, she is helping George to keep up with the other children, but she is a smart and witty child and loves her brother very much”.


The Dantis family is hard-working and tenacious, planning for the future to buy more animals and to lease some land. “Heifer has provided us a chance for a better future. All we have to do is make the best of it,” said Fani, while holding a lamb. The Dantis family and all the other project participants are grateful that Heifer developed this project in their area creating new opportunities for self-sustainability.


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

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