Better farming techniques help rural Vietnamese families increase income and improve health
When Giang Chung was 7 years old, his parents both died in work-related accidents. With nowhere else to go, he went to Lai Chau Orphanage.
Giang lives in Lai Chau Province in the highlands of northern Vietnam. It’s a remote, mountainous area and the country’s poorest and least industrialized province.
Giang is now 14 and still lives at the orphanage with about 120 other children and teenagers. Samaritan’s Purse is helping these orphans improve their health and nutrition by teaching them to grow vegetables and mushrooms and to raise chickens.
About 10 students, including Giang, are especially involved in chicken raising.
“To keep the chickens healthy, we have to carefully follow the instructions,” Giang said. “If the chickens grow well, we can have more food for our meals.”
Samaritan’s Purse is also assisting Lai Chau farmers living in chronic poverty by providing agriculture training, livestock, and other resources.
Lu Van Cuoi, head of a rural commune in Lai Chau, is grateful to have help for his poor farming community.
“I have not seen other projects that compare,” he said.
Hope During Tragedy and Poverty
When our staff met 53-year-old Lo Van Tac, he rarely smiled and lived with little joy. The responsibilities that come with raising grandchildren, especially on a sparse income, weighed on his mind and heart.
Tac is an ethnic minority Thai who was struggling to provide for his family in the midst of tragedy. Two of his sons died suddenly, each leaving behind a wife and children. When the wives remarried, they sent their children, four in total, to live with Tac and his wife.
Not long after that, Tac’s granddaughter, Don, moved in. Her father had died and her mother, Tac’s daughter, remarried and sent Don to live with her grandparents.
Suddenly, Tac and his wife faced a different life than what they’d planned. They didn’t have the resources to support all five grandchildren, and Don was sent to Lai Chau Orphanage. Tac and his wife didn’t know how they’d ever climb out of poverty, so when Samaritan’s Purse started a livelihood project in their village, they were eager to participate.
Our staff provided materials for Tac to build a chicken coop and pig pen and to repair the banks of a pond to raise fish. We gave Tac a few animals to help grow his farm and trained him in effective farming skills.
“How blessed my family is to be supported by Samaritan’s Purse,” Tac said. “We will never forget this.”
Tac now owns about a hundred chickens and ducks, several pigs, and a pond full of fish.
Through the livelihood project in Lai Chau, our staff also met Lo Van Kien. Kien, 43, and his wife were barely able to care for their two children when they added two more to the family. Kien’s sister-in-law disappeared, and when she didn’t return home and was never found, he brought her children to live with his family.
Kien grows rice and corn, but income from his crops wasn’t enough to provide for a family of five.
Our staff gave Kien two piglets and helped the family build a pig pen and buy animal feed. We taught him how to raise the piglets and how to better manage the household budget.
Kien and others in his village can sell one or both of their pigs and use the income to purchase more piglets. The extra income from selling pigs will give Kien more resources to buy food and support his family.
“Our deepest thanks to Samaritan’s Purse for helping us,” he said. “I believe we will escape from poverty.”