No javascript detected! Our online shopping basket requires javascript. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER

Story by Maria Wrabel | Volunteer | Heifer Vietnam
Photos by Nguyen Xuan Quyen | Communication and Networking Officer | Heifer Vietnam

A metal gate groaning with the chorus of quacking ducks greeted us as we crossed the one-lane road to enter the home of Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, 39, in Vinh Long province. Her youngest daughter, Cao Thi My Xuyen, 4, shyly smiled from atop a huge tractor with a mouthful of rice.

Trang invited us inside and we sat down at a small table in the front room. Wind whipped across the expansive rice fields surrounding her house and through the open door, fluttering the curtains and our notebooks. Trang and her family joined the Heifer project Improving the Disadvantaged Farm Households' Capacity in Vinh Long Province through VBHCD (Values-Based Holistic Community Development) in March 2009. Since joining the project, Trang and her family have had many opportunities to improve their personal and economic lives. Life for this hardworking woman, however, was not always so fortunate.

Trang began to share her story, a story of flexible resilience and tireless ingenuity. She grew up as the oldest of her brothers and sisters. At the age of 25, she married her first husband. Trang recounted that her husband and his family were controlling and abusive. She was not allowed to spend any of the family's money, so when she bought a small breakfast of sticky rice, costing about 5 cents, her husband beat her and threw her in the river. Trang realized she deserved a better life, divorced her husband and moved to Saigon.

A few years later, her parents asked her to consider a potential husband. Initially Trang refused the arranged marriage, but after a year passed, her family called her again unexpectedly and asked her to come home and celebrate her engagement party. Trang laughed, remembering how shocked and reluctant she was. She missed her bus home and had to hire a motorbike taxi to make the long trip.

Upon her late arrival her parents scolded her. "My father was very angry," she remembered, "He asked, 'Do you want to make me lose face?'" When they saw how hesitant she was to accept the arrangement, they offered her a generous endowment including half of their property, three cows and a large tractor. Trang finally consented to marry Cao Van Phuong, 43, her current husband.

Trang confessed that thinking back on her first failed marriage still haunts her. She is grateful to now have a respectful and honest husband. "My daughters will not have a miserable life like I had," Trang said with hope.

Cultural perceptions of gender are difficult to alter and her husband's passive disappointment with having only daughters worried her. Fortunately, participating in training about Heifer's 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development has helped change her husband's perspective about gender equity. Trang said, "I have two daughters, but my husband wanted a son. He sometimes complained, but after I shared the training with him, now he has changed to love his daughters."

As Heifer project participants, they also received an additional heifer and used $100 from the revolving fund to raise ducks and to buy a new engine for the family's tractor. This simple investment has expanded and added to the family's primary source of income as hired laborers.

In the past, Phuong and Trang worked to plant and harvest rice, cut grass and pull weeds. After the installation of the new engine, the family had a new source of income from renting out their tractor. Phuong and Trang were the first in the village to start selling labor and providing tractor services, and now the idea has spread. The family can earn 1.2 million Vietnamese Dong (almost $50) in one day, a significant increase in their income.

Trang and her family have undoubtedly faced many obstacles, but the support of Heifer Vietnam combined with their own resilience and ingenuity has allowed them to overcome those obstacles and thrive, full of hope and plans for a bright future for themselves and for their young daughters.

You can help families improve their lives.

Free Download

You only need to enter this information once to download digital resources.

Basket Summary

edit
Your gift will be matched!

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }}

Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ {{ product.price | currency }} Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ FREE Monthly
{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }} Free

Eligible for Gift Card funds

No products in cart.

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }}
Basket Total {{ cartProductsTotalAmount | currency }}
Gift Card Applied {{ -giftCardAmountApplied | currency }}
Subtotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }} Monthly Total {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

edit

Billing Address

{{ billingAddress.first_name }} {{ billingAddress.last_name }} {{ billingAddress.address_1 }} {{ billingAddress.address_2 }} {{ billingAddress.city }}, {{ billingAddress.state }} {{ billingAddress.zip }} {{ billingAddress.country }}

Company

{{ billingAddress.company }}

Shipping Address

{{ shippingAddress.first_name }} {{ shippingAddress.last_name }} {{ shippingAddress.address_1 }} {{ shippingAddress.address_2 }} {{ shippingAddress.city }}, {{ shippingAddress.state }} {{ shippingAddress.zip }} {{ shippingAddress.country }}
edit

Shipping Method

{{ orderShippingOption.description }}

Gift Card Remaining: {{ giftCardTotal | currency }}

Your Gift Card is now active. You can purchase Gift Card-eligible items indicated with  icon.

Basket Summary

Step 1 of 2 Step 1 of 3 Step 1 of 4 Step 1 of 1
Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Your gift will be matched!
Your basket has been updated.
The following item(s) are now sold-out or unavailable and have been removed from your cart:
-{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle}} ({{ product.quantity}})
Gift Card balances can be used for this product

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }} To: {{ product.giftCardRecipientName }} From: {{ product.giftCardSenderPrint }} Email: {{ product.giftCardRecipientEmail }} Delivery: {{ product.giftCardDeliveryDate }} Message: {{ product.giftCardMessage | truncate '200' }} Activation Code: {{ product.giftCardCode }} Delivery: {{ product.additional_info['deliveryDate'] }} Message: {{ product.additional_info['personalMessage'] | truncate '200' }} 1 {{prods["title"]}}

{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }}/month
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
${{ product.price }}
$ {{ product.price }} Free
Remove
Great! We'll help you set up your free Honor Card after your donation is complete.

Gift Message

Personalize your message up to 5 lines in length.

Preview

heifer.org
Basket Total {{ cartProductsTotalAmount | currency }}
Gift Card Applied {{ -giftCardAmountApplied | currency }}
Subtotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
Monthly Subtotal {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}
It's not a hand out. It's a hand up.

For maximum impact, try adding a few items to your basket.

Browse The Gift Catalog
Secured Checkout

Increase Your Impact with a Donation Visit the Gift Catalog

Make an even bigger impact with a donation from our Gift Catalog

Responsibly-Sourced, Artisan-Friendly Gifts Shop the Marketplace

Shop the Marketplace for responsibly-sourced, artisan-friendly gifts
Secured Checkout
Continue Shopping
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[2].title }}

Step 3 of 3 Step 3 of 3 Step 3 of 4 Select shipping method. Orders after 12:00 PM CST will be shipped the next business day. Orders on Saturday or Sunday will be shipped the next business day.
{{shippingOption.description}} ${{shippingOption.shippingCost}}
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary Edit {{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Payment Information

Step 3 of 3 Step 3 of 3 Step 4 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted

Payment Summary

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }}
Basket Total {{ cartProductsTotalAmount | currency }}
Gift Card Applied {{ -giftCardAmountApplied | currency }}
Subtotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }} Monthly Total {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}
Pay By Credit Card
Pay with
Pay with
We were not able to process your request. Please try again or contact Donor Services at 855.9HUNGER (855.948.6437).
Secured Checkout