ietnam is located on the eastern coast of the Indochinese Peninsula, bordered on the north by China, on the west by Laos and Cambodia and on the south and east by the South China Sea.
Vietnam’s climate is tropical in the south and monsoonal in the north. Currently, the main environmental issues are logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices which contribute to deforestation and soil degradation; water pollution and over- fishing which threaten marine life populations; groundwater contamination which limits potable water supply; growing urban industrialization and population migration which is rapidly degrading the environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Agriculture provides a livelihood for over 54 percent of the population and accounts for 22 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP). About 82 percent of the population lives in rural areas with a lack of access to many basic services. In particular, the highest rates of poverty are in the Mekong Delta, Highlands, North Central Coast and the Northwest region. While Vietnam has made significant progress towards ending poverty, nearly 16 percent of the population remains below the poverty line.
Heifer's Work in Vietnam
Heifer International began work in Vietnam in 1987 through a collaboration with Can Tho University. At one time, Heifer Vietnam established projects that expanded to 27 provinces nationwide, today, Heifer Vietnam focuses its work in the Mekong Delta. Heifer’s program has been recognized by the Vietnamese government as a model for livestock development activity in the country.
Heifer Vietnam focuses strongly on building capacity of project partners and participants by providing training in Values-Based Holistic Community Development (VBHCD). When projects end, Heifer’s project partners and participants will have been empowered to ensure the cycle of Passing on the Gift and the overall continuity of the projects. To date, Heifer Vietnam has assisted about 11,000 families in achieving sustainable self-reliance.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable agricultural production: Integrated animal production, livestock breeding, management training and aquaculture
Post-harvest management and processing: Food grain storage and food waste management
Market development: Value-chain development and home production
Technology: Sustainable waste management systems
Nutrition: Training on human nutrition and kitchen gardening
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
On the final day of 2013, members of the Improving Livelihoods in the Poorest District of Soc Trang Province project’s self-help group #1 warmly welcomed the Gluckman family to Phu Tam commune, Chau Thanh district. The married couple and their two children were vacationing in Vietnam and wanted to visit a Heifer project. They have been donating to Heifer International for 20 years.
I was amazed to see firsthand the holistic view of development that Heifer propagates. The projects are not limited to passing on a cow; rather, Heifer's 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development encompass every aspect of life, from diversifying incomes to empowering women and families to working together to end poverty.
Inside the kitchen of Pham Van Hong and Nguyen Thi Phuong in Thoi Thanh Village, Thanh Phu District, Ben Tre Province, Vietnam.
Following the small concrete path, we were surprised to find a lively painted thatched house peacefully surrounded by green paddyfield, pig pen, hen house and garden of flowers.