Following the small concrete path, we were surprised to see a lively painted thatched house peacefully surrounded by green paddy field, pig pen, hen house and garden of flowers. Mrs. Nguyen Thi Lien, the houseowner, welcomed us with her warm smile. Aged 41, Lien is one of 20 self-help group members of the project “Improving the disadvantageous farm households’ capacity in Tra Vinh Province through VBHCD.” She is married to Mr. Nguyen Van Nhut, aged 39. They have one child named Nguyen Minh Du who is in grade 9. After marriage, the couple was given a 2,000 square meter paddy field from their parents. Working hard on rice farming and selling their labor in their spare time for several years, the couple afforded an additional 10,000 square meter paddy field by their savings.
Receiving one heifer and training from Heifer Vietnam, Lien was enlightened. She learned how to take care of her family in a better way and successfully applied modern production techniques. Raising a large swine heard, she built a concrete pig pen and set up a water system to bathe the pigs for more convenience. She also created a recordbook to keep track of every pig’s health. She learned how to make a nutrition cake and to store straw for the cow. Furthermore, she grows grass and green vegetables around the house for a stable food source for the animals for lower expenses and better animal nutrition; for low expense and animal food security. In addition, she finds that making an action plan plays a key role in the goal of ending poverty. Thanks to applying new techniques in animal production, her pigs are very healthy and make a good profit for her family despite the plague in her neighborhood.
Through the 12 Cornerstones training, her family learned many useful things such as improved nutrition of family meals, sharing and caring among members in the family, the importance of children’s education, and full participation in every group activity. With the activeness and enthusiasm in group activities, she was voted as the leader of her self-help group. By leading her family with the guide of the 12 Cornerstones, her family is full of warmth, caring and happiness. The family business has made good progress thanks to a well-organized production plan. The relationship between her family and neighbors is stronger by the spirit of caring and sharing which is demonstrated by a practical action of sharing some fish after every catch she has.
Since taking part in the project, there have been some good changes in her family. She spends the increasing income on family expenses like meals, daily consumption and her son’s education. She also invests in new crops and keeps savings for house repairs. The family atmosphere is cozy. The couple discusses and supports each other in farming, house chores and business, while the son helps his parents tend the cow and collect grass and vegetables for the pigs. Nhut supports and motivates Lien to join group activities. As a result, she has gained self-confidence and activeness to speak out in front of the crowd and raise her own ideas of every issue. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the donors for giving us both physical and spiritual strength in order for us to achieve a better life today. Heifer has helped improve our source of income and enabled us to make plans for our goals, to envision for our future, and more importantly, I am a person of self-confidence and hopefulness.” said Lien.
The end of hunger isn’t a fairy tale
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I am a woman among women, and my family is well respected in the villageGagnessiri Ndiaye, http://tinyurl.com/qhbuvnn
My name is Rebecca and I am from Lincoln Middle School in Meriden, CT. I am writing on behalf of my 7th grade team who worked at collecting money for your organization. My Social Studies teacher received your letter in the mail about donating to farms in East Africa and then gave us background on your organization because she uses your foundation herself. She then encouraged donations, even if it was just a penny. To read more, please click on the title of this story...