Tragedy is a word still often heard and used in Iraq.
Thousands of Iraqis have suffered immeasurable and devastat-ing losses due to the continuing violence throughout the country.
Feryal was one of the many children suffering. The 13-year-old girl witnessed the death of her father and eight other family members at the hands of Al-Qaeda. The experience of wit-nessing this brutality turned her despondent, isolated and cut off from the world around her, even her surviving family.
But she broke free of her internal prison and found a new rea-son for living. All of this happened because of a cow named “Apple”.
Feryal became a member of a local 4-H dairy program that be-gan in Baghdad in 2010. USAID-Inma Agribusiness Program donated 25 heifers to the program to teach young Iraqis how to become dairy producers. The program teaches the young Iraqis business management, decision making skills and life skills through livestock production and civic responsibility. In addition, the young participants learn about animal production, health and nutrition information to keep their heifers and cows healthy.
The 4-H program, which stands for’ Head, Heart, Hands and Health’, means much more to Feryal than just learning skills of animal management.
She is now making new friends in the program and they all share their own experiences with their cows among the group. Feryal also leads discussions on how she cares for Apple and is one of the leaders of the children for a number of activities.
As the program continues to grow, so will the confidence and spirit of this brave Iraqi girl to find her place in life despite all hardships she endured.
Last updated: June 06, 2012