The Passing on the Gift Ceremony took place on 10th January, 2017 in Pannankandy village in Karaichchi Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Kilinochchi district, with twelve ‘original’ dairy farmers under the USAID funded SILK project gifting the first born female calves of the cows purchased by them to another group of twelve farmers all preselected and trained under the project.
Both groups of twelve each have all been trained in Cornerstones of Heifer International origin and in all the intricacies of dairy farming. The second group has been so enthused on the passing on concept that they have selected another group of twelve farmers to take up the baton to continue the project without a break. In the selection of new participants the WRDS, and the local Government functionaries, all have agreed. This is an initiative taken by the second group of participants all on their own. They will act as mentors to the third group, while also providing role models for them to follow.
The ceremony was graced by the Karaichchi Divisional Secretary, the Assistant Director of Planning, Veterinary officials of the Provincial Department of Animal Production and Health, Development officers, Grama Niladhari and representatives of the local WRDS, RDS and Farmer Organizations.
All the women participants were seen dressed in their Sunday best, as if at a wedding ceremony. The traditional oil lamp was lit and a good time was had by all, replete with traditional sweetmeats.
Normally when participants gift their new born female calves to those selected for the pass on process the giver is generally sad to give up the calves. But in this occasion they were celebrating the giving, the calf been gifted being garlanded by the receiver and the participant gifting being happy about helping another person in need in the community.
The ceremony of Passing on the Gift involving three groups of participants – ‘originals’ to pass on participants and right on to the third group figuring in the process augurs well for the continuity of the project ensuring its sustainability.