Mrs. Van really wanted to join the cow bank. She has lived on her own since her husband divorced her right after she gave birth to their second child, leaving her in a very difficult position financially.

She lives in a very small house, and alone cares for her family and farms their 720m2 rice field. This was her only way of earning an income. Being very industrious, she decided to rent more land and plant vegetables. But still they lived in poverty. Her son grew up and eventually married, but to earn enough to feed his family, he and his wife ended up going overseas. (Many Vietnamese go into debt securing an overseas job, as they have to pay a broker, and some are vulnerable to being trafficked.) This also meant leaving their two small children with their grandmother, adding to her financial responsibility.

When Mrs. Van heard about the cow-bank she registered right away. She saw it as an opportunity to escape the poverty her family has been caught in. After she received training on how to find a healthy calf, she went looking. She found one she liked, but when the BOM examined the calf they told her it didn’t meet the criteria. It was too small and therefore in danger of not surviving. Even though this calf was rejected, she was happy because she understood that meeting all the criteria would lead to the best outcome. She realized we were all working for her success.

Two weeks later she found another cow. This cow was really healthy and beautiful; it met all the criteria and so was purchased for her. She has prepared a gated stable to protect the cow as this is the biggest asset her family has owned. She is now busy preparing to plant grass and more vegetables to feed the cow. She has hope that this is the first step for her family to escape poverty.

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