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"Granny" Glara Saroyan, 60, was born and grew up in the Spitak community of the Lori region of Armenia. She lives with her son Karen, 36; granddaughter Armenuhi, 16; and grandson Khoren, 14. Armenuhi and Khoren attend the local school. The Saroyans are one of numerous families who suffered from a devastating earthquake in the winter of 1988. As a result, the Saroyans' house, barn and animals were totally destroyed. The family was left with nothing—no shelter, no meals, and no source of income.
The family moved to a small wooden house provided to them after the earthquake as a temporary shelter. Because of their limited resources, this temporary shelter became their permanent home for several years. The family was living on what little income they generated from cultivating the small garden of vegetables and fruit in front of their home. They used part of the harvest for family consumption and they sold the remaining or bartered for other food in the local market.
Glara said, "I have always dreamed of having an opportunity to start our own family farm. But we weren't able to realize this dream since we had no resources for it. Back in the fall of 2010 a 'miracle' happened and we received two pigs from Heifer. My dream came true! Heifer helped us to start our small family farm. In a few months, in the spring of 2011, our pigs gave birth to 13 piglets (one gave birth to six, the other to seven). I sold the piglets for a very good price, AMD 25,000, or about $66, each, for a total of AMD 325,000, or about $855. Part of the money we spent for our family's daily expenses; the other part we invested in horticulture. We bought vegetable seeds, seedlings and necessary agricultural tools to enlarge our small family business. I'm happy for the success that we have due to Heifer."
When the pigs give birth to piglets again, Glara is planning to keep two of the piglets to pass on in the fall of 2012. She plans to sell the rest of the piglets buy a cow, which will make the family and their farm even more sustainable.
Heifer Armenia is amazed at Granny Glara's diligence and energy! They are happy that after so many years, her dream finally came true. We are also thankful to all the generous donors who make these needy families' dreams come true!