Having lived her whole life solely dependent on farming, Xuan, aged 33, in Don Phong commune found ChildFund-support saving and credits scheme invaluable.
“Like other farmers in the neighborhood, we had no spare cash on hand. All of our money is invested in our farm. When we had money, we used it for the family or the farm. This made it impossible for us to grow our business,” Xuan remembers.
This is where ChildFund’s saving and credits fund could make a difference. “The fund was easily accessible for women like me. I could receive loans from the fund for farming purposes without having to travel far from where I lived, waiting so long for my turn, or going through complicated procedures,” explains Xuan.
In 2013, Xuan began to expand her chicken-raising by purchasing 50 chickens using a US$45 loan from the fund.
Her first attempt failed, when half of the chickens became ill and died. “I had raised some chickens for my family before, but I did not realise how much more difficult it would be to raise a large number of chickens at one time,” Xuan says.
After participating in ChildFund workshops on chicken-raising, Xuan learnt new feeding techniques and how to take better care of her poultry. She felt she had enough knowledge and confidence to try again. She was successful, and now Xuan is on her fourth loan at the value of US$310. Part of the money was spent on purchasing 200 newly-hatched chicks for her farm.
Raising and selling chickens have finally provided Xuan and her family with a stable source of income. “With the money earned, we can pay for our children’s schooling and invest in longer-term agricultural activities,” she says.