Wednesday, March 19, 2014

First Micro Loans Issued

Our target for 2014 was to issue, through VAVA,  (Vietnamese Association for Victims of Agent Orange) 7 micro-loans.

In a quarterly report that we received today, we see that four families have taken advantage of the loan program to start a variety of home based businesses.

Hoa has borrowed the equivalent of $500. She recently lost her husband and is struggling to support herself on a government pension of less than $100 dollars a month.

Hoa maintains a small tomato garden.

 With her loan she has bought some chickens for breeding.

She will also renovate an old workshop and equip it with tanks, where she and her son will breed fish.

Good luck to Hoa...a woman determined to have a better life.

Vinh is a second generation victim of Agent Orange and his young son is also affected. Vinh and his cousin have collaborated in opening a barber  shop. The loan of $400 was used to set up the business in his house with chairs and equipment. Vinh is the barber seated in the picture below. We wish him success in this endeavour. Looks like he has some customers already!

Be and his family exist on a pension of less than $100 a month and with their VAVA loan of $400 he has fenced and enhanced his small mixed farming effort. His pigs, ducks, chickens and vegetables will provide food for their table and a small profit from the market.

The fourth loan of $800 was issued to Tri, an elderly man of 85, who with his daughter have opened a booking  office in their home, booking bus and railway tickets.  Our partner at VAVA reported that Tri did not want his picture taken...he was embarrassed. Sure hope that we can meet Tri when we return to Vietnam to assure him that we enthusiastically support his efforts to improve life for himself and his daughter.

Once again, a huge thank you to all of our contributors to this aspect of our work, the veterans of Company A, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry and friends and neighbours.