Vu and his wife Tinh live with their five year old son and two year old daughter in Luc Nam District of Vietnam. Their life has been hard. They are below the poverty threshold in their community which means the family earns less than $35 USD per month.
In May of 2013 they joined an Opportunity Team run by their community leaders in partnership with YWAM Mercy Vietnam. These Opportunity Teams are organized to help families who are below, or near, the poverty line. The teams provide training, opportunity, and support to help these families improve their own situations.
After joining the Opportunity Team, Vu started receiving training in different agriculture methods.
In early 2014 he received specific training on how to care for a cow and in February of that year he received a cow from the cow bank. Before the end of this year (2016) they will repay their loan from the cow bank with their first female calf. Currently the calf is six months old and weaned, she will go into the cow bank when she is 8 months old, where she will be loaned to another family in need.
Vu and his wife also received training on planting and caring for taro (similar to a potato and commonly grown in Asia). They applied for and received a micro loan of US$500 in September of 2015 which they used to start growing taro. In September of 2016 they finished repaying the loan from the Opportunity Team at an interest rate of 0.75% per month.
The small amount of interest collected helps the micro loan fund keep up with inflation. The long term benefit of the interest is that it allows the same pool of money to help more and more families.
Now, three years after joining the program, they have made a lot of progress.
In addition to the income from their rice farming, they own a cow that will be paid off within a few months. The cow is expected to have a calf again next year and they will be able to sell that calf and use those profits to further invest in their farm. With the taro crop harvest, they will also have profits above their loan amount to live on this fall.
Vu and his wife Tinh are similar to many families in this area. These families are smart, hardworking, and want to provide a better life for their children. Through the Opportunity Teams, they are being given the training, resources, and support needed to build that better life.
Vu and Tinh are an example of a family on the path to leaving poverty. YWAM Mercy Vietnam is excited to see many more families like them leave poverty behind.
Photo Credit: Sharing Dots
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