Story and Photos by Tran Huu Ly | Country Director | Heifer Vietnam
Edited by Nguyen Xuan Quyen | CNO | Heifer Vietnam
Danh Hoang, a 45-year-old Khmer project participant of the self-help group (SHG) named Thanh Cong, which means success, lives with his wife, 41, and four children in the Minh Hung hamlet, Minh Hoa commune, Chau Thanh district.
They are members of the project Improving Livelihoods in the Poorest Districts of Kien Giang Province. Their eldest daughter is married while the youngest son is in the seventh grade. The other two sons dropped out of school to help support the family because they could not afford their school fees. During the rice harvest, the sons and their parents bring in their neighbor's crops, earning 600 kilos, or about 1,323 pounds of paddy per crop. Danh's wife is also employed weaving coconut leaves for roofing thatches.
The family has about 10,763 square feet of land on which they built a home, pigsty, fish pond and a small garden for sweet potatoes. After joining the Heifer project, Danh learned about the 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development, personal leadership, Project Self-Review and Planning (PSRP), animal well-being, animal management, manure use, animal production, and rice straw treatment.
He also received one heifer, $100 from the revolving fund to buy one sow and feed for breeding. The first piglets were sold for a profit of $75 and the next six piglets earned $100. To improve the nutrition of their daily meals, the family raises fish and 20 ducks in their pond. The project cow has produced two male offspring so far. They are going to sell the first male offspring and purchase a heifer to pass on to another family in need.
The selling price of a male is higher than the purchasing price of a calf, therefore, Danh will use the extra money to invest and develop his production. He composts cow manure as fertilizer for the family's vegetable garden to save on fertilizer cost.
When he was asked about his future plans, Danh said "I will continue raising the sow and try to do Passing On the Gift® to a needy family like mine as soon as possible and work harder and seize the opportunity given by Heifer to lift myself out of poverty sustainably."