Ly Thi Pu, a 38-year old woman who belongs to the Dao ethnic group, is currently living in Khuoi Tuc village, Thuan Mang commune, Ngan Son district, Bac Kan province. Coming from an agricultural family, perhaps for those who first met Pu, they would hardly know that this woman is a diligent and enthusiastic village head who is always passionate about everything she does.
Pu’s typical day usually begins when the sun has just risen. After carefully preparing and checking necessary items for a new workday such as farming tools, knives, sickles, etc., or a few bottles of water to drink, she set out to the farm, ready for a busy day just like many others in her community.
With quick and nimble hands, Pu always effectively manages the farm work even though she always finds herself soaking in sweat. She tirelessly carries out her tasks because she knows that being a diligent farmer is her way to bring value to the society and ensure her family adequate living conditions.
In the afternoons, Pu returns home. After a quick rest to recharge, Pu enthusiastically studies documents or prepares for community meetings and workshops. Unlike most people in the area, Pu’s work is not confined to the farm. As a village head, she actively spends time to improve her knowledge to disseminate useful information to local people.
Ly Thi Pu – Head of Khuoi Tuc village
Pu has been the head of Khuoi Tuc village for nearly six years. Before that, she never thought that she would have the confidence to take on such a leadership role. Indeed, for Pu and many others in the village, the bias that such roles should be assigned to men had been imprinted in their thoughts over the years. That all changed in 2016, when Pu decided to become a candidate for the village head position.
Aware of the difficulties ahead for such a bold decision, Pu tries her best to improve every day. Her efforts were recognised by many people, and since then Khuoi Tuc village has had a dedicated and hardworking female village head.
When she first took on the position, Pu faced many challenges as she had to manage domestic and farm work while the same time participate in communal activities. Seeing Pu juggling between all these responsibilities, her husband has advised her to resign from the role. Some misunderstandings also arised between Pu and the locals, however, after all, with a warm-hearted and enthusiastic manner, Pu has overcome all these hardships. Now, she not only has a family as her emotional support but also many villagers who love her wholeheartedly.
“The new role has given me many valuable experiences, especially the chance to meet and connect with other people. I also really enjoy participating in workshops and training courses since they offer me new knowledge to become a better person.”
As the village head, Pu has brought positive changes to her community. Pu has always been active in promoting campaigns, acting as a role model to motivate others to engage in ChildFund projects. Participating in the “Clean water and sanitation for all” project, Pu tirelessly spent time to share with others the importance of keeping the environment clean and principles of maintaining hygiene. She also cooperates with the Women Union of Khuoi Tuc village to help underprivileged families during crop season. Inspired by Pu and her work, the number of women participating in communal activities has increased gradually, along with the number of female leaders in the district.
Pu and other project staffs surveying the clean water source for Khuoi Tuc village
From a shy woman, Pu has now become a hardworking village head who is entrusted by many people. She always hopes that her image in the eyes of others will not be that of a leader, but a solid example of a woman breaking the bias and daring to pursue her passion.
“If you don’t know something, spend time learning it! Be assertive, believe in yourself, and everything is possible” – Pu said with a smile.