When Le Tan Linh attended his first Heifer Vietnam training courses, he did not know the change it would bring to his entire community. Through training he has learned how to be a leader who effectively helps his village overcome poverty.
As the only boy, Linh grew up sharing many of his family’s burdens with his parents. Their dire financial situation forced him to drop out of school at a young age. He worked tirelessly on the family’s small plot of land, struggling to feed his older sisters and himself.
Constantly looking for ways to escape poverty, Linh saw the perfect opportunity through animals. He sold his favorite pet and bought three goats with the money. It took time, diligence and hard work, but over three years, the goats brought in a significant profit for Linh. He even saved enough to build a concrete house for his family.
Their house is filled with laughter and happiness, but the backdrop of poverty still exists all around them. Natural conditions make grass a limited feeding source for animals, so Linh bought a small piece of land to grow lemon grass. Now, with a small herd of goats, a family of five, and a lemon-grass-garden, Linh knew he needed a helping hand.
He began training through Heifer Vietnam to expand his knowledge and seek ways to end poverty. His sincere diligence and modesty won him popularity among the group and they voted him to be the group president. Linh participates in Heifer trainings like “Self-Help Group Management” to guide and shape him to serve his community to his full potential.
Linh cares deeply about his village. He visits project participants regularly to better understand and support them when needed. Knowing their struggle personally, Linh shared his grass seedlings with 150 project households in his area. Every member who visited him walked away with a smile on their face as they carried a bundle of seedlings home. His sharing received praise from the villagers and the local authorities encourage people to follow his actions.
His spirit of Sharing and Caring, enthusiasm and diligence brings to life the mission of Heifer, to bring communities together with the common goal of ending hunger and poverty throughout the world.
Story and photos by Nguyen Ngoc Thach, Regional Program Manager, Heifer Vietnam
Translated by Nguyen Xuan Quyen, Community & Networking Officer, Heifer Vietnam