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Visit in Hue in October 2007


Mrs. Dao is very proud. In the last year she
got three piglets. Two she has sold and
bought new ones which are sold meanwhile,
too. One sow of the first generation she
maintained for breeding. Now the success
appeared (15 piglets).

My travel to Hue from Sep 30 to Oct 14, 2007 was done for controlling the results and for agreement with the representative of the NGO, Mrs. Hien, in further activities at the face. The visit was successfully. What I could see in the short time was positive altogether (not so completely positive aspects later).
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Results in the Huong Tho commune

There where we started two years ago meanwhile 20 women earn her money regularly with “their” pigs. The most prosperous women have sold the fourth generation of pigs and earned about 600 Euro. Where I came I met active women who showed me her attainments like a water cistern from bricks or a television set. These women are enabled to live without further aid from Courage e.V. and we are able to help other single women. Our claim to give “help for become self-supporting” was confirmed in practice.



An example for others shall be Mrs. Le Thi Chut. She belonged to the first women who got piglets. In the meantime she has the fourth generation of pigs in her barn. I know her since 2004 as a friendly and hard-working widow. At that time I visited orphans who should receive school fee.

When I visited her in Oct 2007 she was “relocated” the second time. The community had resettled her three months ago. She should get some land and an amount of 300 Euro for the construction of a house. She agreed. Because the money don’t suffice she used her savings and the receipts from selling the pigs. Now she has a new house – this time her own one, but no more money to buy new piglets.

In our meeting of members we had resolved that women who lost their piglets despite of diligence and struggle should get compensation - implying Mrs. Hien's and the Women’s Union recommendation. Thus Mrs. Chut will get piglets soon because she is not liable for her difficult situation.


Frau Giai and her disabled daughter
Tran Thi Men
Mrs. Giai has finally paid the credit for the house off and wants to give her adolescent daughter to a training school. Improbably the daughter will get a husband as a “supplier”. Tran Tri Men will have to get ready for a self-supported life. For this reason an education as seamstress will be appreciable. Here Courage e.V. can help to get self-supporting and give the money for the education at least partially. The DED there was contacted to find an apprenticeship training position for the daughter in a group planned by the Deutsche Entwicklungs-Dienst. Tran Thi Men show good results in school and was decorated publicly.
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The visit in Quang Thai

was difficult because of several reasons. Firstly the approach per motorbike leads through the flood water area left by the typhoon. One part has to be realised by a boat (see photo). Secondly Mrs. Ha from the Women’s Union was absent during the first visit for private reasons. Accordingly we were annoying because we could not find the women and pupils in the project without her help. Road signs and road maps were not available.



Three days later we met Mrs. Ha and had a meeting. She is short before her retirement and don’t has a mind longer. She apologised and gave a look through that other organisations gave money and help in a greater scale. Intentionally we will not do this. Because of the short time and the flood we have looked only for two women. Their children were chosen for a sponsorship. Mrs. Ha led us to Mrs. Hanh and Mrs. Tui. I was very surprised. Both had mother sows in their studs. They have sold the first piglets. In future they will be able to earn money enough for themselves.


Ho Thi Ngoc Anh, pupil of the 3rd class at
the basic school in Quang Thai, one of our
godchildren
During our visit in the school the director told us that another organisation has paid the school fee for most of the 25 children without father or mother. This concerns one of our girls, too. If she will go to a high school later it will also be paid.

That means that our sponsorship is open. Mrs. Hien and Mrs. Ha proposed to continue as before because the mothers are really poor and could use the money for clothes and additionally food. The decision should be done by the godparents if they will follow the proposal or if they will start a new sponsorship.

The other godchildren are twin sisters. Their results at school are not so good and they were not included in the project of the other organisation. They learn fairly and gave us drawings and letters for the godparents in Germany.
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Visit in Huong Ho

We could not consider the rain of the typhoon and went by motorbike along the Perfume River, passing the famous Lyn Mu Pagode on a broken road (but not longer covered with mud) to Huong Ho.


Road to Quang Thai
Soaking wet we arrived and have discussed the education of the women, construction of studs and the delivery of the piglets together with the responsible of the Women’s Union. The representative of Courage e.V. in Hue has already visited all considered women and gave their expert opinion to Germany. Mrs. Hien from the Women’s Union and her deputy showed us the way to six women I had selected from the list. The visit confirmed that we can trust in the opinion of Mrs. Ton Nu Thi Hien.


The hut of a selected woman in Huong Ho,
about 15 km away from Hue. Often single
women were settled in the margin of the
village.
The husband of Mrs. Hoan Thi Minh Tam died in a motorbike accident four months ago. She lives in a miserable hut beside the grand mother. She had heard from Courage e.V. and asked our deputy for help. She has spoken with their neighbours and they agree that she will start to breed pigs. Nowadays she works as a dishwasher in one of the street restaurants. Later she could give leftover food to the pigs. She will be included in our next action.
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Further activities during the visit

We have had a lot of discussions with the deputies of the Women’s Union. On the one hand we looked for new possibilities to help for self-support (beside the pig project). All interviewees told us that the breeding of pigs is the best way to help single women in Vietnamese villages.

On the other hand Gerd Willkommen tried to point out the reasons for poorness of single women. The most important problem is the fact that the fathers behave irresponsible against her children without any morally or governmental consequences.

After a virus epidemic which afflicted pigs in Vietnam the price for living piglets increased strongly. We have to provide more for this project. Other prices are rising, too (i.e. fuel: 2005 one litre was 7.000 Vietnamese Dong (VND), today it’s more than 11.500 VND).
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Conclusions

The project idea to help women to become self-supporting is successfully realised in practise. Generally we will continue the approved support by buying piglets. The intensive search for other possibilities was without result. Only in single exceptional cases there will be solutions as the training for seamstress or the help for strating a production of incense sticks.

Considerable support we got from the responsible of the Women’s Union in Huong Tho commune and the neighbour commune Huong Ho, both situated at the Perfume River. Therefore we will continue our support there. In the Quang Thai commune we have had not so good experience – we will not increase our help there.

For a better qualification of the women in breeding piglets to get better success the education will be continued. In Oct 2007 an exchange of experience of all participating women from Huog Tho commune took place.

The selected women from Huong Ho commune will be educated this month. Thereafter they will construct the barns and about 4 weeks after acceptance each will get the three piglets.

I appreciate for comments, critical or consenting hints.



Gerd Willkommen
Head of Courage e.V.

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