Mrs. Phuong (37), from Hoai Duc is a typical example of someone who increased her household income and escaped poverty after participating in a YWAM Mercy Opportunity Team in her community.
Nearly 10 years ago, her family was ranked as a poor household by local authorities. She struggled to bring any profit from farming. A young mother of 5, Phuong hadn’t had time to gain much experience in animal husbandry, and she didn’t know much about income generation strategies.
When YWAM Mercy started economic empowerment projects in her community, Mrs. Phuong immediately took part in training courses on agricultural techniques and economic development which helped her see her work differently and really changed her mindset.
In 2012, she heard YWAM Mercy would offer micro-credit. She did not hesitate to register for a loan so she could start foca small business. She used part of the loan to buy some land for farming and the remaining money she invested a business leasing items for use at conferences such as loudspeakers, dishes, furniture and such.
Phuong shared that since joining YWAM Mercy’s training courses, she sees her work very differently. She is more confident and brave, daring to do new things. She is not afraid of a challenge or hard work. She works more logically now, whether in how she manages daily expenses, or her family life, to how she increases her income.
Every year, she invests in renovating appliances and equipment to suit market trends and the needs of customers. During seven years in business, she has invested 900 million VND (US$39,130) in new equipment! Her family has stayed involved in the work, helping her to take home about 140 million VND (US$6,087) a year in salary.
Currently, her family has 2160 square meters of rice paddy, 2520 square meters of seasonal vegetables such as corn, cabbage, & watercress, which brings her family a turnover of over 200 million a year (US$8696). In addition to pigs, chickens and ducks, which almost every farmer raises, Phuong’s family also raises wild boars, geese, fighting chickens and pigeons. They are animals that are not so popular and have a more special nature than regular pets, so they require more thorough care, more effort, but also bring higher returns. Phuong and her husband are even planning to invest in raising eels – a very popular meat in Vietnam and something no one has raised in their area yet.
With so many jobs for the couple to manage, and almost no time to relax, they are gradually focusing more on farming and handing over the business to their oldest daughter.
Mrs. Phuong shared that, “Farming requires only a small capital investment but provides a good income on our land. My event supplies business requires me to invest a lot of money, and work harder, but the income is equal to farming. So, my husband and I decided we would focus on one job rather than many things as before.”
Phuong’s story is a great motivation for YWAM Mercy to continue our community development focus. She is also an example for other households in poverty. If they learn and work, and are not afraid of difficulties, they can overcome.