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

By Jason Woods, World Ark senior editor
Photos by Omar Havana

Innovative farmers in Vietnam are teaming up with Heifer to raise frogs and cultivate exotic fruits that look like balls of fire. The farmers are following Heifer's original strategy by raising cows to improve health and income. This marriage of old and new approaches in spawning collaboration and success across the Mekong Delta.

Nguyen Thi Tang
Tang and her family earn about $125 a month from the sale of dragon fruit, which are popular in Vietnam.

NGUYEN THI TANG

Before working with Heifer, Nguyen Thi Tang and her family pocketed only 2 million Vietnamese dong a month, the equivalent of $100. Most of that income came from her husband’s teaching salary and rice farming.

Now, Tang’s family earns about $500 a month, an income spike that started with a Heifer cow. Tang is breeding cows now, selling the bulls and keeping the heifers. She’s also the treasurer of a Heifer-sponsored self-help group. Members make monthly contributions to a group savings fund. If the group approves it, members can take out low-interest loans from the fund to invest in education, livestock or other ventures.

After hearing success stories from her peers, Tang took out a loan to grow dragon fruit, which comes from a cactus and looks like a fi reball on the outside. Fruits that are red on the inside instead of white garner the most money, and that’s the kind Tang grows.

Manure from Tang’s cows keeps the cactus fruits bountiful, and the family can now count on about $125 a month in income. Tang is also quick to note the intangible benefi ts of working with Heifer. “I can communicate with others,” she said. “I have the opportunity to visit other cities. I’m proud to stand in front of a crowd and talk, not like I was before.”

Huynh Van Chien
Chien supplements his family’s monthly income through the local sale of frogs.

HUYNH VAN CHIEN

Huynh Van Chien leaped into the frog business little more than a year ago. “Because this was my first time raising frogs, I was scared about the risks in feeding them,” he said. “I wanted to start small-scale.”

As it turns out, Chien says raising frogs isn’t that hard. He has 400 of them now. “I can get small fish and shrimp from the lake to feed the frogs,” he said. “They are natural and easy to find.”

The frogs are also easy to sell. Chien earns $2 per kilogram from the frogs, and he can sell 40-50 kilograms per month. Two years ago, Chien received a cow from Heifer Vietnam, and shortly after, he borrowed $50 from his self-help group’s savings fund to invest in frogs.

“At first, I learned (about the frogs) by myself, then I learned from other members of the group.” Chien feeds his frogs three times a day, and he administers medicine when a frog isn’t eating like it should.

The next steps will be expanding the scale of his frog business and finding ways to breed them so he doesn’t have to buy tadpoles. Chien sells his frogs, but he eats some of them, too. “It’s my favorite because it’s tasty, delicious,” Chien said. He prefers them fried with onion, garlic and spices.

Tran Thi Tham
Tham has formed a special bond with her cows, and it shows.

TRAN THI THAM

Tran Thi Tham’s cows gave her an economic boost, and an emotional one, too. Her sons are old enough that they’ve moved out of the house and far away. In their absence, Tham formed strong bonds with her animals.

“I talk to my cows because I miss my sons a lot,” she said. The extraordinary care Tham gives is refl ected in the cows’ demeanor. Right now, Tham has a full-grown cow, which was donated by Heifer, and its calf. When she takes the cows to pasture, the calf skips with glee. When she checks on the cows, which is usually an hourly occurrence, the cows nuzzle up around her shoulders.

Although she expects to sell some calves in the future, Tham plans on keeping the two cows she has now, as well as expanding the herd. “I’d like to keep my cows forever,” she said.

Le Thi Long
Long harvests water chestnut stalks in her pond near her home. Water chestnut stalks are a staple in local cuisine.

LE THI LONG

A menagerie of livestock and vegetables thrive under her care, so it’s surprising that Le Thi Long is new to farming. Long started out by borrowing a cow from Heifer so she could learn how to care for it. After learning how to breed cows, she now owns three.

She also bought pigs from a neighbor on credit. After she paid her neighbor back, she tapped her self-help group’s savings fund to buy farm equipment, poultry, earthworms, fish and vegetables. One of her most fruitful vegetables is cú nang, or water chestnut, an aquatic tuber with stalks that grow up to 5 feet.

“The profit is five times that of rice, and it is highly productive,” Long said. Water chestnuts are also easy to grow, since she uses her cows’ manure as fertilizer.

In the last year, Long doubled her monthly income— from $100 a month to $200—through hard work and newfound knowledge about money management.

“I experienced poverty before, so when I had money, I planned all these things because I don’t want to be poor again.” Next, Long wants to rebuild her house and fund her children’s educations. “They’re in university now, and I want to support them until they finish,” she said.

Free Download

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

Need Help?

Basket Summary

edit

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

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

No products in cart.

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }} Sub-total {{ 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 }}

Basket Summary

Step 1 of 2 Step 1 of 3
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted
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}})

{{ 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
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
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 2 Step 2 of 3
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 2 Step 2 of 3
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 Edit {{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Payment Information

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

Payment Summary

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }} Sub-total {{ 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