Transparent Fish Fund is partnering with Allianz Mission in a cow microloan project to alleviate poverty in Vietnam. The mission of this project is to help poor families generate stable income by raising productive cows. This sustainable method improves their living conditions and gradually helps them improve their quality of life. The income from the cows improves the housing conditions for both the farming families and for the cow’s shelter. It also supports the children’s education, once the parents can afford to send them to a school farther from the village.
Candidate Selection Process
Each selected village is provided with a cow herd of 20 and a good bull. This capital support will be owned by the whole village when the ownership and management of the project is handed over to them.
To start the project with this support, the village forms the first farmer group to receive the first project cows and bull. These first client families are voted for by the villagers. The villagers select capable and reliable families whom they hope will succeed in developing the cowherd for the village’s prosperity in the future.
Training the Recipients
Each selected family will receive a cow as a loan so that they can start raising the cow for their own benefits. The project also provides the families with fodder grass and technical training on raising cows.
Examples of Recipients with Their Cows and Houses
The Microloan Cycle
The clients look after the project cows until the cows deliver females calves that will be handed over to other families in the village to continue the cycle. The next generation begins when the female calf is ready at 18-months-old to be handed over to a new family. The village will meet so select that new family.
Accountability and Follow Up
Our field partner Allianz Mission started this project in 2008. They currently facilitate it in 2 mountainous districts of Vietnam: Bac Son district in Lang Son province and Vo Nhai district in Thai Nguyen province. The Allianz Mission staff follows up with the farmer groups and individual clients every 2 months. These regular visits provide support and monitoring, helping to empower the local leaders and villagers while also transferring values.
Results and Updates
In 2015, the project cows had expanded to the 3rd generation, which means that the number of supported families has doubled already. The project cow herds in Bac Son are developing well, and Allianz Mission is planning to hand over the ownership and management to the local partners in 2016.
Field Visit January 2016
As part of our due diligence commitment, Transparent Fish Fund personally visited families who received cows in Vietnam. In order to reach them from Bac Son city, the Allianz Mission staff led us on a 1 hour and 30 minutes hike that covered 8 kilometers. We navigated muddy slopes and crossed rivers to visit these recipients in rural, mountains areas.
The people who live in this area are a minority group called Dao. They live very simple lives and many families are Christians. We thank the Lord that the weather was cool but not too cold and a little cooler than Hanoi because it is the mountainous region. It was also not raining, compared to the day before which was pouring rain, and we thought we would not be able to make this visit due to bad weather.
The families were very excited to see us visit and thanked TFish for our support to help them change their lives. We talked to a few families who received cows. All of them were very touched by the help, and Allianz Mission plans to distribute more cows in the neighboring regions. To identify the cows sponsored by AM/TFish, the ears are pierced with a yellow earring with a code name and initials of the village (05-BA) to be easily identifiable.
When we left, we met a boy who was walking his cow that was also sponsored by TFish. The children of the village are cute, but we are also touched by seeing their bare feet and facial expressions. They are smiling but their innocence is not visible. We walked the 1 hour and 30 minutes back to the car waiting for us. We were all tired but we thanked God for giving us a day of joy, goodness, and meaning in this trip.
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