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STORY OF MS. BAC THI BIEN

- Project: Agro-biodiversity conservation and development for poor communities in response to climate change, Son La Province.

- Ultimate goal: Food security for ethnic minority groups in upland areas in Son La province will be ensured.

- Donors: Bread for the World and Manos Unidas.

“My husband and I now have an equal role in the family”

When Ms. Bien thinks back to her life before joining SRD’s Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLA) group, she recalls a time where her main role was doing chores around the house.

“In the past, I just spent time on doing household chores…Every day I just walked around my house”.

However, since joining the VSLA, Ms. Bien has gained practical skills which allow her to take on a new leadership role and run her own business. Through the trainings, SRD’s project introduces participants to successfully mobilize and manage their capitals, loans, to self-operate the activities. The trainings then also provides the members with the means to start their own VSLA group. Now, on the 17th of each month, Ms. Bien and her VSLA group meet at 8:00 am. To start the meeting off, all members put their savings together. Ms. Bien generally saves her money from selling livestock and rice. When all the money has been collected, and with the input of the group, the VSLA manager delegates who will receive the funds.

“Whenever I am in need of money, I now have a place to borrow money from rather than struggle to find a place to borrow money”.

And on January 25th, 2019, Ms. Bien was one of the group members who decided to take a loan. She borrowed 1 million VND in order to buy piglets and their food. In just nearly half a month, she was able to sell some of these pigs. From a loan of just 1 million VND, she has now received up to 14 million VND.

“My income has increased, that helps my family to have fewer disputes. Especially, my husband and I now have an equal role in the family”.

Moreover, from her participation in the trainings, she has seen a change in her business skills and abilities.

“After joining the group, I got to know how to organize my time effectively, I am especially self - aware of saving, and then manage my money better”.

Ms. Bien hopes that more people in her community can get involved in the VSLA, as she believes it can improve their income and time management skills. She is an inspiring example who demonstrates that women who acquire relevant skills can be empowered to truly transform their lives. 

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                                                        “My husband and I now have an equal role in the family”

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                                                                  Rice fields from the Keo Phay and Co Kham villages

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Ms. Bien shared her accomplishments, goals, and experiences with SRD’s international volunteer and the founder of Far Green

 

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