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19 March 2013

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Report to the control visit concerning the Courage-projects in Vienam

The visit in the region Thua Thien Hue from 30 March to 08 April 2012 was done to control the results of 2011. In the focus were the 2011 newly accrued women and the bio-gas facilities.

Help for single women: In 2011 altogether 61 women in four municipalities were supported. Dependent on the month they were involved into the project they have sold at least once pigs and bought new piglets. The selling of three animals of 50 kg yields to a revenue of 270 to 300 €. That means the women have suddenly more then the poverty level of 1 US$ per day. Those women who started in summer 2011 could sell two to three times her pigs. All 61 women who were supported in 2011 by Courage had still three pigs in the barn.

Garden of Mrs. Chiem in Huong Van
If a woman can harvesting forage in her own garden or collects water plants she improves her revenue. On the other hand, if the pigs were fed with concentrated feed bought on the market, they grow up faster. It is managed very differently. Between 40 and 70 per cent self produced plants were fed.


If the piglets leave the breeding station and were handed over to the women they have to get a "diet" due to the very different fodder proposal. Therefore Courage e.V. provides for some time concentrated feed. Nevertheless in 2008 and 2009 some animals died after the handover to the women. In considering of this experience, Mrs. Hien byes heavier piglets (15 kg) now. They are more expensive but have a more stable health to survive the change from the breeding station to the women. Due to the immediate relief of NfH (Networker for Humanity e.V., Heidelberg) Courage e.V. could replace 66 animals which were drowned during the typhoon in autumn 2011.
In the first years there exists a downright aversion to keep a saw. The rare but good examples have meanwhile set a precedent. More and more women keep a saw to breed their own piglets. The rest can be sold.
At the end of last year the prices for piglets increased up to 30 per cent thus raising the project costs. In the maximum the price for piglets was 150.000 VND/kg (VND - Vietnamese Dong). On the other hand this was an advantage for the women who were in the project for some time and could sell their pigs in this time.
The high inflation rate of more then 20 per cent influences the costs for the project, too. The increased prices for energy and fuels influence the prices for the material for the bio-gas facilities considerably. Instead of 11.000.000 VND we have to pay now 14.000.000 VND for a bio-gas plant. (1,- € is now 25.000,- VND).


Bio-gas facilities: These plants gave a very strong impulsion to have as much pigs in the barn as possible which is the one precondition to get a bio-gas plant. These facilities are very coveted and Courage has not enough money to fulfil all demands. The bio-gas plants provide gas/energy for cooking always and fast. It is not necessary to spark a wooden fire as before. Nevertheless, the displeasing fetidness disappears.
A further, not to underestimated advantage is the lavatory belonging to the bio-gas plant. None of the wooden cottages or the simple stone houses have toilet inside. Instead a crate as shown in the picture is used at wind and weather.

Who has not enough semi-liquid manure because the pigs were just sold tries all to continue the bio-gas production. One collects animal-excrements at the neighbours, the other plant remains.


Our co-operation partner - the Women’s Union: For the Vietnamese Women’s Union we are exactly that partner who works in the sector for which they are responsible: the abatement of poverty and the equality of treatment of women in everyday life. The responsible persons appreciate our commitment for the single, needy women because it is very hard to help them due to the low education level. For instance, it was impossible to the needy singles to get a credit for building a house. Generally the Vietnamese Women’s Union pays 50 per cent for a stone house; the other half has to be paid by the future owner or by a credit. After enclosure into our project the women from the poverty list became creditworthy.
In return we can use the whole infrastructure of the local Women’s Union. They provide us rooms for the qualification of the women and lists with the single women living under the poverty line which are the basis for our choice. The officials if the local Women’s Union are well informed about the situation in the villages and will inform our representative if problems arise. Mrs. Hien is able to react faster because she is informed immediately. Thus our work reached a new quality which can be seen in robust results over a long time.
Official bodies more and more value our dedication for single women and for the building of bio-gas plants. The regional Hue TV brought a detailed contribution...

...and a local newspaper reported about our work for the poor women in villages. A national Vietnamese newspaper reported on the personal commitment of the representative of Courage in Vietnam.


Financial charging: Due to the above-named reasons the costs for the equipment (3 piglets, barn, change over fodder, qualification) for the women, who can then without any further financial support earn a continuous income, increased considerably: from about 250- € in 2010 to now about 350,-€.


Overall impression: The project becomes drive and the results in keeping pigs became more stable and all women earn more money then before. The chance to earn money self-propelling was accepted. Exceptions become rarely. Even women who meantime reduced the number of pigs have now three pigs again. Others have by drive of their own and with own money enlarged the stable to have enough place for saws, shoats and piglets. Thus it can be fed with the special fodder. In Huong Tho two women supply a company who sells piglets supraregional.
The chairman of Courage participated in a Meeting of the Women’s Union of the district Huong Tra. In commune Binh Thanh an exchange of experience with the project women on pig breeding and bio-gas facilities took place. Our representative supported this event actively.

Gerd Willkommen                                                                     Erzhausen, 12 April 2012
Chairman of Courage e.V.