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19 Apr 2016


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Report on a control visit from 19 to 31 March 2016 to Hue

Purpose of the trip was the control of the results and preparation of further projects.

When applying for a work permit from the competent Vietnamese Institution PACCOM in Hanoi in 2015 Courage submitted three projects for the following two years. These projects were approved and on this basis the work permit for Courage to 2018 was issued. Thereafter, the extension must be requested again.

The objectives provided for 2015/2016 were all been met to February this year. This performance is mainly due to the dedicated work of our representative on site. However, that also means that all funds that were planned by the end of this year, are depleted. The understandable expectation of the Vietnamese persons responsible on additional extensive help for the rest of 2016, I could not fulfill in all discussions. From the beginning of 2015 to end of March 2016 Courage has in three municipalities selected 30 women from the official poverty list, trained them, financed the construction of a pig sty and every woman passed three piglets in addition to feeding stuff for a month. Furthermore, eleven successful breeding women received a biogas plant.

The visits to the different communities where we have been active in 2015 and early 2016, have shown that all is well under way and good results of breeding can be expected.


Aquatic plants along the wa

The provisioning of feeding stuff for the pigs is an important problem of women. Courage advises production of fodder plants in the garden, because it brings the greatest profit. However, the pigs will not grow as fast as when using concentrated feed, which must be bought in the market. Aquatic plants grow lush in the many slow-flowing waters in the flat plane. Dunes protect against the ingress of salt water. The women collect these without their own doing renewable resource very often and like as pig feed.

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Important was the visit to the President of the Women's Union of the refion of Huong Tra, Mrs. Thuyet. She knows us very good for many years and supports our representative in Vientnam, Mrs. Hien actively. I told her that Courage can try first, gain state funding for a new project. For the selection of women, we need her support. Mrs. Thuyet pointed to a village where the Paco minority (Laotian) lives. There are 22 single women. The village Thon Hoa Cat, Binh Thanh commune necessarily needs access to clean water. Mrs. Thuyet promised to provide information this community necessary for the application of the project. I myself know this area from my work as deminer in Vietnam (see also: Thanhnien News).

Due to the many forest also goats as “project animals” would be possible, especially for those women living in the edge of the village. In the environment of the National Park Bach Ma there exists precedents funded by German money.

In Huong Toan, county Huong Tra, we visited those women who received last help to become self-supporting (in the pouring rain with a motorbike). Very interesting was the visit at a woman who has no ground for a pigsty available. She received a sewing machine and expressed very optimistic, because she can now earn 45 U$ per month from home. She sews for a textile company in Hue, the source of the material, she must sew together. Her husband has been detected by the railroad in Hue City one and a half years ago and died of the consequences of this accident.

In Huong Binh I met another young widow whose husband and father in law died by a landslip during a typhoon. She also has no ground for a pigsty available. To help this woman to become self-supporting Courage bought her a machine for coating bamboo sticks with Incense mass. This woman was very pleased with the potential merits and expressed very optimistic, too.


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The representative of Courage, Mrs. Hien cooperates closely with the relevant person in charge of the local Women's Union, whose infrastructure is made available to us. We also get the support of local councils. The main reason for this is the agreement to improve the lives of the poor women and to overcome the official poverty line in Vietnam which is now 15,000 VND or 0.8 U$ per day, respectively. Here Courage emphasises especially sustainability.

In all municipalities the project work is going better than in the early years. The women seek for breeding pigs now. The results in the other communities that were supported in the early years have become common, and women are more courageous and assume the risk of breeding.

Our top woman in 2008 gets as everyone else three piglets. At that time she had just divorced, which in Vietnam means that she probably never can find a new partner. But she used the initial funding wisely and gradually expanded her stables. She now operates successfully and in a big style in pig breeding. She can even pay two employees.

Last year I visited her in Quang Thai (see photo) and have seen with my own eyes that she had 50 pigs in her stalls, which she has sold all immediately after my visit at once. That would have been about 7,300 U$ income in one fell swoop. This she can repeat at least three times a year. And that using an input of about 400 U$ on our part. Meanwhile, she has risen back up in the social ladder. This year I've heard in Quang Thai, that she is now married again and gave birth to a child. Unfortunately, not all are as strong and clever as Mrs. Ngho.

However, she is not the only one who made a good income. Other women earn 50 to 60 million VND and 2,300 U$ to 2,700 U$ per year. Accurate data are not publicly expressed - the women maintain a low profile this respect.


Mrs. Ngo Quang Thai now operates pig breeding on a large scale and has two male employees
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Finally, I have given an assurance that we will only support a group of 10 women in Huong Toan this year.




Gerd Willkommen                                                                          Erzhausen, April 13, 2016
Chairman of "Courage e.V."

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