Raising animals can be a real game-changer to help people living in rural areas out poverty.
YWAM Mercy Vietnam often implements cowbanks as part of multi-intervention poverty alleviation projects. Families join an “Opportunity Team” and work as a group to improve their situations, rotating various benefits like micro-loans or cowbank calves from one family to the next. Cow banks are a sustainable way of providing calves to families in need. Families receive a calf and then return their first-born calf to the project to be received by another family. Mrs. Hoang Thi Nang (shown with her cow above) recently benefitted from a new cowbank in her community.
A cowbank creates wealth by introducing a valuable asset (a calf), that gives birth to more valuable assets (another calf) on an annual basis. This alone can raise a family out of poverty.
Mrs. Nang (born in 1963) is part of the Nung minority group. Her husband died so she takes care of her two children by herself. Before she started raising cows, her main income was from three sao (1 sao = 360 square meters) of rice field and two sao of pineapple . Because she had no money to invest in fertilizer, and could not work the field attentively while caring for her children, her income from this land was inadequate.
When the cowbank was introduced in her community, because of her difficult circumstances, she was voted to be one of the first households received a cow. In November 2016, after receiving training on signs of a healthy calf, Mrs. Nang located a calf which met all these requirements. After we checked the calf and agreed it was healthy, we arranged for her to buy it with project funds.
Receiving the calf was a really big occasion for her family. She cooked a special meal to celebrate her new family member! She takes special care of her calf, even preparing extra food for it. In December, some donors visited Mrs. Nang’s family. She shared,
I’m really happy to have this calf. I don’t know how to express my thanks to everyone involved in the project. Every day I get up early to cut grass and cook more rice in order to help my calf grow up quickly. My calf is very healthy. All members in my Opportunity Team are helpful and enthusiastic. This calf gives me a good opportunity to improve our living conditions. If I had the chance, I would love to raise one more calf.
Opportunity Team Training
Cow Care Training