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Summing up report to the control visit in Hue
from Aug 22. to Sep 03, 2011

The hand over of barn and piglets as base for keeping pigs is still the most wanted and most successful mode of the project to help single women by "Courage". In 2011 up to August 48 single and needy women were involved in the project. Altogether 37 women received piglets, 10 received chicks and one woman was helped with a device for the production of incense sticks. "Courage" could help to increase sustainable their living situation.

Examples of pig keeping in the "Courage project".
All women started with only three piglets.


The annual income of the most successful women increased within two years to 600 € to 1.200 €. Before they had to live below the official poverty line (Vietnam) of 160 € per year. But not all women have to power and the will to organise and prepare the forage for three or more animals. In some cases piglet died. The success depends on the influence of the Vietnamese Womens Union and their help in difficult situations, too.

When we visited the women, about 90 per cent had pigs in the barns. Due to begin of the raining and typhoon period especially those women, who live in regions which were flooded every year, sell their animals. Others make preparations to transfer the animals to hills. On the regional market piglet were bought not until the end of the rainy season. The financial success depends on whether and how much the women produce fodder in their garden or collect water spinach from the rivers.


Manioc rootManioc plants in garden
as feed for the pigs

For the first time we have used other forms to support single women:

Mrs. Thi Be is illiterate and did not have enough land to built up a pig stable. Therefore our representative in Hue recommended to buy her a device for the production of the often needed incense sticks. Mrs. Be was educated and is now able to earn about 50.000 VND = 1.80 € per day, which is more than the poverty limit.

 Incense sticks Ė production of 1 day
sales revenue about 2.50 €


In the village Huong Tho 10 single women were supported in chicken keeping because they donít have sufficient land for keeping pigs. They received a cage and mesh for fences, 50 chicks and some feed. From the Womenís Union and the involved women we got a positive feedback. The Womenís Union spoke about 300 € gain per year. This is less than one half of the result with pigs. In future the handover of chicks to reduce the biggest misery should be used only in single cases due to the higher efficacy of other forms of help.

The Vietnamese Womenís Union should act for all Vietnamese women. Their local deouties in rural areas attach large importance to co-operation with "Courage e.V." due to they are officially responsible to lead the women out of poverty. "Courage e.V." has always the same goal. There are governmental programs to guarantee stone houses to all as "poor" accepted women. The financing should be done each one third by the government, the Womenís Union and the concerned women. Since the women in our project are able to reimburse credits from the revenues of the pig keeping they can get credits from the Womenís Union easily. Thus, in the commune Binh Thanh meanwhile all single women in the project could leave their blank sheet or wooden huts and live in stone houses (see photo).

Altogether eight women own biogas equipments! This project is strictly supported by the district councils, too. Meetings were organised with the head of the Womenís Union in the district of Huong Tra and in the communes of Trieu Bieu, Huong Ho, Huong Tho, Binh Thanh, Huong Vang and Loc Thuy.


The activities of "Courage e.V." in 2011 were accompanied with economic problems in Vietnam. According to the statistics agency in Vietnam the inflation in July was 15.6 per cent. Foreign investments decreased by 30 per cent during the first three months of 2011. In consequence energy and staple foods (excl. rice) became more expensive which affects especially the poor people. The Vietnamese government attempts with different activities to fight against poverty and hunger especially in the country-side.


Biogas burnerUsual wood-burning cooking place

If a woman keeps minimally five pigs "Courage" is up to finance her a biogas equipment. This is a considerable contribution of "Courage" to keeping clean of groundwater, to provide regenerative energy and to gentle handling of environment. Until now the financial settings of "Courage" suffice the construction of eight biogas equipments. The conctruction of further three biogas equipments is planned. Nevertheless, needed were more.

The help in Vietnam needs a governmental registration of the work of the NGO at the responsible authority. In first line tis is PACCOM in Hanoi. On Sunday, Aug 22 a short meeting with the vice president for Europe, Nguyen Trung Dung, took place where "Courage e.V." the work permit issued in June. This paper allows "Courage e.V." to help exclusively in the province Thua Thien Hue.

The head of "Courage e.V." presented the efferts of the NGO to improve the living situation of single women in the country-side and pointed on the success in environmental protection by construction of biogas equipments.

Mr. Dung, vice regional director at PACCOM hints to the commitment of the NGO to reveal the financial data to Hanoi every half year.

Every visit at the women participating in the project in the villages by the head or any guest has to be announced with name and passport number to the FRD (Foreign Relations Department) of the province government. At Aug 23 a short meeting with the vice president of FRD, Mrs. Ngo Thuy Dung, took place. Both sides agreed that the results in the fight against poverty can be seen in the real improvement of the living situation of the women.


Mrs. Buom from Huong Ho

Before she came into the project Mrs. Buom belongs 2008 still to the village poorness From the returns of the pig breeding she has bought a cow in 2009. The meanwhile born calf was sold. Furthermore she works still in the forest. She lives now in a new house, too.

The introduction of the many single destinies connected with "Courage" would need to much place. They will be handed in later.

Gerd Willkommen                                                                     Erzhausen, Sep 2011
Head of "Courage e.V."


Mrs. Pham Thi Em,

lives in the village Giap Nhi. She is 39 years old and illiterate. She was born at the end of the Vietnam war. Her childhood in the aftermath of the war was impressed by poverty and destitution.

She was still 27 when she married. She lives lucky together with her husband and delivered two children. Unfortunately her husband died eight years ago due to cancer. It was a body blow to her. She lost not only her partner but also the bread-earner. She fell in deep poverty.

The next stroke of fate hits she when her son drowned in the age of nine years during the big flood in 2009. Now she lives together with her daughter. Her health is bad Ė she has a breast fibroma. She works as day-taler of the rich neighbours in rice cultivation. Her average earning is i 200.000VND/month (7 €). She hopes for help by Courage to overcome her situation.


Mrs. Cao Thi Hoa,

lives in the village Giap Nhi, commune Huong Van. She is 57 years old and illiterate. Her childhood and youth was during the Vietnam war. Her family lived in the neighbourhood of Camp Evans of the American forces. Again and again there were military battles which affect the civil population, too. Her job was to herd buffalos and as home-help. She becomes older and older and nobody loves her and wants to marry her. When she was 40 she had an affair with a married man. He wonít support her and her child.

Note: > In Vietnam it is traditional and still accepted law, that an unwed woman of more than 30 years has the right to have a child, too. If a woman over 30 has an affair the father of the child is than not obliged to care for his child. Official opinion: If she could not get a husband she should be allowed to have at least a child.

Her daughter is now 18 and is pupil of the 12th class.

Mrs. Cao Thi Hoa works as day-taler in rice agriculture of the neighbours. Her average salary is about 250.000VND/month (9 €). She wants to enter our project to overcome her situation.


Mrs. Dang Thi Gai,

lives in the village Bau Dung, commune Huong Van. She is 42 years old and day-taler. In her childhood she lives with her family. Her parents enabled her to go to school for nine years. Not till then she has to work together with the parents.

She suffers from diabetes.

In her youth she waits at home for a partner, but nobody wants to have her. So she becomes older and older and dauntingly. She sees the reason in the man deficit in her village after the war. She works now as day-taler for rich neighbours on the rice fields. Although she has no own children, she attended to the upbringing three nephews, who were abandoned by their parents. After divorce both father and mother went out. Therefore her life is very difficult. Her income amounts 600,000 VND/month (21 €). During some months she finds no work and earns no money. Currently she lives in the house of her parents. She hopes that we can help her to enhance her situation.


Mrs. Le Thi Thuy,

lives in the village Giap Nhat, Huong Van commune, Huong Tra district.

She is 42 years old. She went to school only 2 years. During the whole childhood she lives together with her parents, which is not self-evident in poor families. However, she had to work. She had to herd the water buffalos of the family. Later the parents had to sell the buffalos. Thereafter she had to collect firewood in the mountains and to help in the rice fields

When she was 18 she went still in the forest for firewood. There she met a man, who blindsided her. It was only a short and in the eyes of the village member illegal relation. The man disappeared and walked out on her, when she became pregnant. For a long time she was alone with the child. Three years later happily she could marry. In this wedlock three further children were born. After the birth of the third child the husband committed adultery and abandoned. As usual the fathers didnít pay alimony. Now she has to care for four children. It is very hard to earn the money for the school attendance of her children. Her average income is about 200.00VND/month (7 €). She wants keenly our help. .


Mrs. Pham Thi Huong,

She was born in 1977 and growth up in her family. She isnít married but she has a five years old daughter, Pham Thi Ha. She lives as mini-peasant and day-taler in the village Giap Thuong.

The peculiarity: she is deaf Ė a big burden for the life in the village. The mean income is 500.000 VND/month (18 €).

She hopes that we can help her to leave the bad financial situation.

Mrs. Pham Thi Huong and our representative Mrs. Ton Nu Thi Hien


Mrs. Pham Thi The,

lives in the village Giap Thuong, commune Huong Tra. She is 44 and mini-peasant. Since the situation in her parents home was very bad she could attend the school only up to the fifth class. Therafter she had to help the family in the household and on the field. This is the destiny especially of girls while her brothers often can finish the school.

She isnít married and delivered in 2006 a son, Truong Quyet. In the respective season she collects wood, herbs or mushrooms and earns her money this way. Her average monthly income is 300.000 VND (11 €). This minimal income is not enough to pay for the school attendance of her son. Therefore she hopes keenly to come into our project. The house was provided by the commune.


Mrs. Phan Thi Van,

lives in the village Giap Nhat, is 35 years old and peasant. Since her parents were very poor she has to finish the school after five years. When she was 19 she married. After 11 years her husband died due to cancer. They have a son and a daughter.

Her situation is very hard. She has to bring up two children. For the small house she had to borrow money. Currently she works as street sweeper. Her mean monthly income is 700.000 VND (25 €). It is very hard to care for three persons from it. She hopes for our help to overcome her difficult situation.