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Report to the inspection trip to Vietnam and Cambodia

On 6 September 2009 started Gerd Willkommen, Chairman Courage e.V. and Peter Heinz, a member of Courage, as always at their own expense, to a two-week trip to Vietnam and this time also to Cambodia. Travel reason was the visit of the projects in 6 different municipalities in the province of Hue and the project in Kampong Cham, which is maintained by Buddhism and Society Development Association, shortly BSDA, as partners. The organization in Vietnam was, as always in the hands of our representative on site.

in Vietnam
In Thuy Bieu the delegation has been invited by the chairman of the council to visit a home for handicapped children. The head of this institution showed us the pagoda, among others, students are trained in tailoring. (2nd from our representative - Ms. Ton Nu Thi Hien)

Every morning we visited 4 to 5 women. All women live so far away from any kind of infrastructure so that they were only accessible by scooter and under the leadership of someone who knows the localities. To take a moped through the chaotic traffic in Hue, was particularly a challenge for Peter Heinz, which made him often hair stands on end.

In addition there were meetings with the Foreign Relations department of the provincial government, Mr. Nguyen, and also of the representatives of the Women's Union in the six municipalities. With an annual budget of around € 12,000 (for travel expenses will be paid for privately, but are included here with!) We are the smallest of NGOs in the province, whose work is nonetheless universal accepted.

Upon completion of the work in Hue, we flew at 16.9. to Saigon and traveled with light luggage North to the border with Cambodia, which we reached after two-hour taxi ride. In the terminal we handed our passports to two very official-looking men in blue uniforms. They filled out the forms for us and made us sign it. Only when she demanded money for filling in, we realized that we were windy fall into the hands of journeyman who had taken advantage of our inexperience. Well, we paid the mite and bothered us less about the 2 € rather than on the cheek. Only a few steps ahead began the official procedure.

On the Cambodian side Mr. Vandong, the chief monk of BSDA, was waiting for us. Both on the outward and on the way back, the driver showed us how to drive in Cambodia. With good 100 km / h and always honking they dashed on well-paved roads through the elongated villages. In particular, the return has stressed our polite acceptance to driving. It was a national holiday, and the driver wanted as quickly as possible back to his family! We arrived in HCMC much earlier than planned and were able to prepare adequately for the evening flight home.

The results are promising in Vietnam. In all villages the number of animals coming to the mast has increased. The women have more experience in the food preparation. Much depends on whether the women can obtain sufficient food. Under favorable conditions, the piglets grow faster and their animals can be sold four times.  The project in Binh Thanh shows clear, which qualitative development of the projects has taken. It is plain to see that the results have gotten around and the women want to use their chance. Apparently, the close cooperation between the Women's Union and representative of our company is one of the foundations of successful work. Even the municipal council in Quang Thai, in which village which many piglets died because of bad weather at the beginning, is now impressed with the success because several capable women made a sensation with their sows and earn relatively good money. The chairman of the council has organized a meeting and the successful women were able to present their experiences.
There is also solidarity of women between themselves. Mrs. Thuy, who has two sows in the barn, gave away seven piglets of a similarly poor family. The number of born piglets was too large and the available food was not enough for everyone. In Huong Tho women have donated money from the first sale. In the end it was enough for three more women.

The commune Binh Thanh requested in February 2008 in an open letter for assistance. (See Attachment!) On request of our steering board all single women in the "poverty list" of the community were visited by our representative and she proposed 15 of them for admittance in our project. The Steering Board confirmed the selection and the training began in March 2009. Thereafter, the women built the pigsties and the end of the month they received their piglets. Meanwhile, they have already sold twice its size pulled pork and piglets readjusted. Some have bought more piglets, some recruited a sow; for the author, the meeting with Binh Thanh was so evocative, because he had prepared a four-week survey for the explosive ordnances in exactly this commune..


Example Ms Truong Thi Gai, Binh Thanh

51 years old, no children, a boy died as a child. She got in March 2009 first three piglets.
She has already sold 3 animals and bought four replacements for them. She saves money in the Vietkom Bank as retirement. She is a very hardworking woman with a large, neatly cultivated garden, from which she relates the feed for the animals.

bei Frau Gai
im Garten
Her garden with sweet potatoes and cassava


Example, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Nguyet, Binh Thanh

She is 66 years old and has no children. She said she would not have been attractive enough for it. When the end of the Vietnam War ended she was over thirty years old. About their war experiences, she would not speak at all. The area around Binh Thanh was in 1968 a theater of war between regular units of the Vietnamese People's Army and forces of South Vietnam and US. After the war the town was part of the special territory that was repopulated with more or less volunteers from South Vietnam. The author has prepared the explosive ordnance in the modern village of Binh Thanh by a German NGO. You can only guess what fate she was suspended. Today she has two pigs at 55 kg in the sty and is waiting until they weigh more because they can draw more money. Make the work for two pigs for them, would be hard enough for her age.

'Kiosk' im Inneren
The cabin interior is a "kiosk"
Behausung von Frau Nguyet
The abode of Mrs Nguyet


Example Ms Cao Thi Loc

She has 5 children (22, 16, 14, 10 and 2 years). The fathers were road construction workers who had only a short time there and then disappeared. Because alimony payments are difficult to implement, she alone had to provide for their children.
She came a year ago in the project. Now she has 10 pigs are already in pigsty. She took the money of the first sale. Pig feed may be obtained free from the garden. It has its own cistern on your property which is filled by electric motor pomp from a well.
The pig slurry derived from properly and takes it for fertilization. For them, the purchase of a biogas plant would be very favorable.

im Gespräch
Mrs. Loc in conversation with representatives of Courage
im Stall
Her pride and joy


Example, Le Thi Hien, Huong Ho

She is 42 years old and has a 16 year old son who will finish school this year.
For three years she is part of the project in Huong Ho. She is very diligent. She has been able to safe so much money that they could accept the offer of the state to build a house. She took the offer of the state with the amount of 2000 €. She could pay 1000 € more from her own pocket.
She also earned a small extra income through embroidery

unser Besuch
Our visit to Le Thi Hien
Nebenverdienst Stickereien
Her extra income is embroidery, which they sold for little money to tourist hotels


Example, Nguyen Thi Kim Duyon, Binh Thanh

She is 28 years old and has a daughter, born after a marriage concluded to Vietnamese traditional way. Two pairs of parents, the relationship has been discussed and enforced. Traditionally, the bride moves into the house of his parents and must be subordinate to the mother-in-law. Already during pregnancy the husband has moved in with another woman. This also meant that she was removed from the house of their parents-in-law. As a woman with a child in the country side, she has only little chance to be able to remarry. She like others had to make for himself alone, and the now 6-year girl. She cannot claim any rights, because there was no state-recognized marriage.
This woman has taken the opportunity and started a veritable breeding. She has bought from the sales proceeds more piglets. With these proceeds and borrowed money she has expanded the barn. Today, 12 animals are in the sty and a mother-sow. The food can related from her own garden and from an area near the River. For her a biogas plant worth.

im Stall 1
In the pigsty of Mrs. Duyon
im Stall 2


Example woman from Quang Thai: Mrs.Thuy 

Like all other women Mrs. Thuy has begun with three piglets. That was in late 2007. Now she has two sows and 10 piglets in the barn. She has invested a portion of the proceeds in tobacco plants. The barren sandy soil of her garden she has fertilized with manure and achieved good results. The harvested tobacco has packed it to ferment. At the end it will cut it to plug in pods and sell the cigarettes..

zwei Muttersauen
Mrs Thuy with one of the two sows
She shows with pride the tobacco.
Stall von Frau Hanh 1
In the pigsty of Mrs. Hanh in Quang Thai
Stall von Frau Hanh 2
Look in the stable of Mrs. Hanh


Summary Vietnam 

1.      Our project idea is simple. "Courage e.V." is passed to each woman as a seed for permanent income, three piglets, paid the material for the pigsty and funded a solution tailored to the intellectual level of education. The average expenditure amount for a woman, including the concentrated feed made available for the transitional period the piglets from the breeding station and the pigsties of the women, is about 250 €. One of the basic conditions for inclusion in the project is the ability to feed in their garden to grow or obtain elsewhere for free.

2.      Depending on how many times a year, the women sell the piglets, is the pure profit between 600 € and 1,000 €, that means these women have crossed the poverty line of $ 1 per day bzw.350 $ per year for two or three times. Increasingly, women develop self-initiative to increase their earning potential, more piglets in which they adjust or they get through the cultivation of tobacco, which is made possible on the sandy soil fertilized with manure, additional income.

3.      It is suggested: women, who have more than five piglets, are to be equipped with biogas plants, which is an important step in relation to the receipt of a healthy environment. It is thus the soil and water pollution avoided, but also achieved a new quality of energy supply. So far, all the women cook with wood in a corner of the house. An investment costs and cost about 250 €.

4.      The Vietnamese government will provide each household 20,000,000 VND (~ 800 €) for the construction of a house of stone. The remaining fund, everybody has to pay it by< themselves. Some of the project women, if they are long enough in the project, completed money. Other obtains credit that they receive from the Women's Union and they can repay with the help of the pig. 


Results in Kampong Cham 

Since 2008, there is a cooperation agreement with BSDA (Buddhism and Society Development Association). BSDA, took the concept of Courage e.V. is an in Cambodia registered association. A Courage member is solely responsible for the funding. The Board of Courage e.V. only issue the donation receipt and settles the expenses according to the German case to the tax office in Darmstadt.
Nevertheless, we wanted to see the conditions on the ground. In Kampong Cham, a meeting was held with the management team of the Buddhist monastery, which represents essentially BSDA, and our delegation instead. Head of BSDA's is the monk Vandong.
There were visited four women, of which depicted two here..


Example Mrs Ben Nary 

She has no children. Her husband left her 16 years ago. Two of her brothers live in their house. We wanted to know how to appraise the project. Since it can take 50% of the food from the garden and buy the other 50% of the market must not be worth the high cost. She told us: cows should be better. All the two years they would then have $ 500 for the calf, and hardly ever need to worry about the food.
She has approximately ten chickens, which are also looking for their food themselves and caused only a small effort. In the barn there are two pigs.

Hütte von Frau Nary
The cottage of Mrs. Nary
Frau Ben Nary
Mrs. Ben Nary from Kampong Cham


Example Mrs. Vanna IN

She is 52 years old and has five children by different fathers. On their property their guiding hand was evident. They said she buys 80% of the feed for the pigs on the market. Under these circumstances, would not be worth pigs. At the same time she confessed that she did not know which and how to cook pig feed. Instead, she wanted chickens.

Der Vorsitzende

Two other women, we have visited to share the same fate. They are very poor, single and have to provide for three or five children. She also advocated because of the lower expenses for cows.


Summary on Cambodia 

In the end, an evaluation took place with the team of BSDA and Courage guests.

1.      Significant differences with Vietnam are unmistakable. The monk Vandong emphasized in this context that the Vietnamese were for their diligence and business acumen known in Southeast Asia.

2.     If women are not in a position to take care of food, reduces the profits considerably. Obviously, the training was given insufficient attention to the food supply and preparation. In all the gardens, we have seen, were banana trees. Its trunk can be chopped. By cooking the pig feed is prepared. This is possible in the inspected property.

3.     It remains BSDA to decide whether the money is used for the purchase of cows or chicks, if the principles are respected for the public good.


Gerd Willkommen                                                                       Erzhausen on 09/28/2009
Chairman Courage e.V.


Attachment (
open letter of the commune Binh Thanh)

offener Brief