BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE
There is no parallel between the before and current family condition of Quàng Văn Tạo, a farmer living in Trạm Củ village of Tuần Giáo district, Điện Biên province. Rising from the depth of poverty, his family is leading a stable life with significantly improved income, and Tao is always proud of his four well-behaved children who are getting ever better at school.
Every day for many years, from morning to dusk, Tạo would pick up his hoe to his terrace field and work indefatigably. Yet, there was not enough produce to feed his four weakening children due to undernourishment. His children’s education was on the verge of disruption.
“I didn’t make much money, for I had to pay for manpower when I needed extra hands in the field. At times I thought about having my first-born daughter Vấn quit school to help me”, Tạo says.
Thanks to the encouragement of the village development board as well as the support from the nutrition club and cow raising group members, Tạo was able to keep his daughter in school. The girl born with hemophilia in 2001, who was once timid and regularly skipping class is now a high school student with confidence and an urging dream to become a teacher for the children in her village.
Striving to escape poverty
“Tạo’s family was very poor while their daughter’s disease requires life-long treatment. Their humble income depends primarily on farming. I requested World Vision to enroll him in the village’s cow raising group and grant him a breeding cow,” says Giàng A Của, former head of Ta Ma commune.
With his strong determination, many times before World Vision’s medicine shelf was set up in his village, Tạo had traveled as far as 50 kilometers away from his village to get medicines for his cow. Whenever a sudden cold breeze blew through, Tạo did not mind staying up all night to make an airtight shelter for it. Learning from other group members and the village vet, he was able to take care of his cow with the right technique.
In 2016, Tạo supported his village development board in their first-ever initiative to establish a collective grazing area for all livestock of Trạm Củ villagers. Families were mobilized to lend their plantations (away from the village) and labor to fence up a large area where they could leave their livestock grazing. The benefiting families would take turns to look after the livestock and monitor their health.
This successful collective raising model has contributed to multiplying the initial support of 7 breeding cows to Trạm Củ village in 2009 into a herd of 92 cows in mid-2018, equivalent to US$ 59,431 in worth. For Tạo alone, his herd has increased to 6 cows, equivalent to US$ 3,876. In addition, the production of rice and corn is now much higher thanks to his application of new techniques.
“I had so many worries at first, would I be able to raise a cow, would my family escape poverty, would I be able to make money for my children’s schooling and what would I do if the cow fell sick. Now my family situation has improved much. My children have enough food to eat and are healthy,” Tạo shares.
Tạo is very delighted that his children remain in school where they have the opportunity to study, engage in extracurricular activities, and participate in the meaningful sessions of the children club at school. He and his wife are members of his village’s health club to learn about child care and sanitation.
Toward the future
In order to fulfill his children’s desire for education, Tạo and his wife are continuously learning and applying what they learn into farming to improve their household economy. Despite challenges in providing for four children, they both believe in a better life for their family in the future.
“I will try to study better because I want to help my parents when I grow up,” Vấn says.
“Our village is much more close-knit. Within the livelihood group, all members are willing to be part of the solution whenever any member is in need of help. We will keep passing on the cows until all families in our village have received a cow, prioritizing vulnerable families with children,” head of Trạm Củ village development board Lò Văn Lão shares.
To achieve the comprehensive well-being for children, World Vision helps each village within its project areas to establish a village development board, a health club, livelihood groups, and a children clubs whose sustainability will be ensured through strengthened participation and ownership of community people and children.