They say good things come in small packages and that was certainly the case with Mr. Vuong’s cow.
Mr. Vuong and his wife joined a YWAM Mercy Opportunity Team in 2019 hoping for the chance to raise a cow to increase their income. They live with their son in a very small house and were considered one of the poorer households in their village. Mr. Vuong’s family took very good care of their cow. Every day his wife rose early to cut grass to feed it.
We were the last family in our village to receive a cow from the Opportunity Team. At that time our cow was very small, maybe the smallest in the group and the price paid for it was only 12 million VND (US$570). We tried to take good care of it so she would grow well.
Eventually this calf grew into a cow and produced a calf. This was a very healthy male calf and was eventually sold for 26 million VND (US$1,200). This money was returned to the Opportunity Team as repayment of the “loan” of the original calf so a replacement female cow could be purchased and given to another family in poverty (income of less than US$2 a day).
In the second year, 2021, the cow gave birth to a second male calf which was recently sold for 27.7 million VND (US$1,300). This money represents significant income for the family and is a record for the cow-bank, the highest price a calf from a YWAM Mercy cow-bank has been sold for. The high price in part was due to the upturn in the market but also speaks of the quality of care that Mr. Vuong’s family gave the cow and the calf. It was in premium condition and therefore sold at the highest market price.
The cow is now pregnant with her third calf due in April 2022.
The resulting increase in income for the family is amazing, They previously relied on a small income from cultivating their fields and the few chickens and ducks they were able to raise and sell. It is also wonderful timing as the couple is getting older and raising cows is something they will have the strength to do for many years to come.
This is one of many success stories in our cow-bank project. Cow-banks are a sustainable opportunity for people to rise out of poverty because cows generally produce a calf every year which provides a good income and power for farming.