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Changes in Local People’s Life in the VM052 Project Site Seen Through The Donor’s Field Trip

"I am so happy to see that local women's life is improved after one year of implementing the project", Ms. Patricia said, Regional Officer – Southeast Asia of Manos Unidas (Spain) – the donor of the project VM052 in Tinh Gia District, Thanh Hoa Province.
On 15 and 16 April, 2016, representatives of the Manos Unidas took a field trip to the site of the "Towards a sustainable livelihood of poor single women headed households by applying a climate smart agriculture approach in Tinh Gia District, Thanh Hoa Province" project, which has been implemented by the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) since April 2015.
During the trip, the donor visited some farmer groups established by the project and poor single women-headed households. They had a good impression that the Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLA) has been run effectively by the farmers. Within a year, more than 184 million dong were mobilized for VSLA in the two communes of Hai Ninh and Ninh Hai, giving loans to 201 poor single women-headed households for agriculture production.

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The donor participated a meeting of the VSLA group

The donor visited the family of Mrs. Le Thi Ly – a poor single woman-headed household in Nam Tien village, Hai Ninh commune who has four children and three of them are epilepsy. She said "VSLA prioritized my family's situation and gave us the first one million dong loan. I spent the money buying feed for 50 chicks. After five months, 5 of them died, I sold 25 adult chicken and earned 3.2 million dong and kept 20 chickens for breeding. Due to the profit, I pay off the loan to VSLA. After that, I was approved to get another two million dong loan. With all money I had and philanthropists' assistance, I could replace our 20m2 broken fibre cement roof with corrugated steel roofing sheets."

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Mrs. Le Thi Ly headed household has a more stable income from chicken farming 

In addition to establishing VSLA, the project undertook many training workshops to help farmers gain knowledge and techniques of crop and animal farming. They can apply what they learned to their family' farming, as well as then guide others. Ms. Vong, a poor single woman in Thanh Binh village, Hai Ninh commune, who carried out the model "Raising free-range backyard chickens", shared "Due to joining training workshops held by the project, I knew causes and symptoms of chicken diseases. My 50 chickens has been alive and grown fast. Besides, I helped my neighbors vaccinate their chickens."

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The donor talked with farmers

Through the trip, the donor highly appreciated the project's support in improving local women's capacity and soft skills of leadership, negotiation, gender talk, presentation. "Last year, when the project was being prepared to implement, I came here. I saw that local women looked sort of sad and shy. This time I came back and feel happy that they became opened to share and talk more about themselves." Ms. Patricia said.

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The donor visited a woman headed household

After one year of implementation, the project has brought about many positive initial results. The donor hopes that in the next two years, local women here will continue to receive effective supports from the project in order to improve their capacity as well as their family's income.

Tran Van Loi - SRD's Project Officer 

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