by Heather Klinger
World Vision US
Thirty-two-year-old Renu got married at the age of 14. After the sudden disappearance of her husband, Renu found herself in a hopeless situation — raising their three children alone and picking up scattered pieces of her broken family.
Embarking on the difficult journey of single parenthood, she resorted to extending her arms to anyone willing to loan her money to keep her children alive. Bit by bit, it stripped Renu of her dignity and pride.
“I lived in fear,” she says. “Where would I go with my kids? How would I raise them alone?”
Then Renu received one of 600 buffaloes distributed in her community as part of World Vision’s economic development program.
“The World Vision staff heard my story of struggle when no one paid attention,” Renu says. “They gave me a Chuja (buffalo) so that I could take care of my children’s well-being.”
“The day mummy got Chuja Muna (buffalo) home I saw a smile on her face. Chuja was our precious gift when we had nothing,” says 10-year-old Vishal, Renu’s second son. “My sickness was because we didn’t have nutritious food to eat. Once Chuja came, we could afford good food. She brought me healing. I love Chuja Muna because she helped us stay in school.” (©2015 World Vision/photo by Annila Harris)
At first, Renu gave the milk to her children because they had been deprived of nutritious food. Then she started to sell the milk to buy vegetables, oil, and spices from the market. Next she bought new clothes for her children. And World Vision provided corrugated galvanized iron sheets to replace their hay roof.
“Joy had returned in our house,” says Renu.
Soon after, she started to wish for her husband’s return. She vividly remembers the day he called her after years of absence. At first she says she felt relieved he was still alive, then angry. But she says she knew she wanted her husband to come home.
“I felt I had let down my family, and I feared they wouldn’t accept me back,” 36-year-old Devinder says. He explains that he got the courage to call her when he heard how well his wife was taking care of their kids with the income from selling Chuja’s milk. “Her confidence gave me hope that nothing was impossible.”
“Chuja Muna brought him back,” Renu says. “She is our treasure. She glued all the scattered pieces of our family back together. All broken relationships — that of a father and his children, a husband and wife, a mother and her children — were restored again. Chuja is part of our family.”
You too can give the gift of farm animals to help a struggling family piece their life back together : Gift farm animals
Story courtesy of World Vision US.