Neighbours share gift of livestock

Grant project name: Gift Catalogue Livestock Initiative
Funded by: World Vision United States (Gift Catalogue)
Time frame: October 2013 - September 2016

Purpose and objectives: To increase incomes through market-orientated livestock initiatives for poor households and communities within selected Area Development Programmes, with the related goal of improving childhood nutrition.

Project outcome 1: Improved livestock production, with focus on cows, buffalo, pigs, chickens and ducks, through market links.

Project outcome 2: Improved nutrition for targeted households with children under five through market-oriented livestock initiatives.

Project outcome 3: Development of a strong, evidence-based livestock model with market orientation.

The project aims to increase incomes through market-orientated livestock initiatives for poor households and communities and thereby improve the nutrition of children.

The ‘Gift Catalogue Livestock Initiative’ is a new project supported by World Vision Vietnam in Huong Hoa and Hai Lang ADPs in Quang Tri province and Mai Chau ADP in Hoa Binh province, funded by World Vision United States. 

In the period between 2013 to 2016, the project aims to increase incomes through market-orientated livestock initiatives for poor households and communities and thereby improve the nutrition of children.

Resilience and Livelihood is a priority for World Vision International as well as in Vietnam. Indeed, it is an essential component to create income while also providing sustainable food security and transformational development towards child well-being.

Over the last few years, World Vision Vietnam has run the ‘Livestock Initiative for Transformation’ (LIFT) programme in Thanh Hoa province and each year funds several small gift catalogue activities on livestock raising.

In the FY15-17 stategy, WV Vietnam has started to integrate projects approaches such as LIFT in Nutrition programs while at the same time being integrated in the Resilience Programming. This year research is being conducted to measure effectiveness of the approach and document it as best practice.  With this research, WV will be able to determime the correlation between increase in income and child nutrition.

MEET TWO FAMILIES BENEFITTING FROM THIS PROJECT: 

Vietnamese text by Thuong Thuong, Gift Catalogue Livestock Initiative, Mai Chau ADP 

Yeu was delighted to welcome the new member of his family: a calf destined to belong to his neighbour.

      

Yeu’s son was equally pleased, spending all his free time taking care of the newborn and its mother. “I want to look after them and I think she’ll have more calves,” he says.

Born to a poor family, Yeu didn’t have the chance to go to school; his job prospects were severely limited after he married and moved out of his parents’ home. As such, his new family slipped into worse poverty.

With mounting debts, Yeu considered withdrawing his children from school due to the costs involved until he became involved in the Gift Catalogue project.

With no savings or work experience, Yeu has to grow crops on a small, sloping field. He borrowed money from his relatives and neighbours for food and other necessities.

With mounting debts, Yeu considered withdrawing his children from school due to the costs involved until he became part of the Gift Catalogue project where he received livestock training as a member of the community group.  He was then chosen by the group to be the first recipient of a priceless gift: a female cow. 

“A cow is a huge deal and something I’d never had or even dreamed of having,” the father says.

World Vision provided 44 cows to poor households living in Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh province in 2014, after receiving training and education on live stock raising.  Each cow is shared by two households. Under the livelihood initiative, one household takes care of the cow and then its first calf is given to the partner family..

World Vision’s deputy manager in Mai Chau, Ha Thi Nga, says: “Cows are precious assets for farmers.”

Participating families are given construction materials for livestock enclosures, while World Vision also shows them how to make organic fertiliser for grass to feed their animals and effective techniques to raise healthy cows.

Just one month after receiving the animal, Yeu’s cow gave birth. The beneficiary, Lo Thi Ich, says: “We’ll get the calf when it doesn’t need its mother’s milk anymore. It’s a female calf, so we’ll take care of it to breed healthy calves in the future.”

The two families share the same humble dream: to afford clothes, food and education for their children. Each day brings new hope: as the cows grow, breed and multiply, their incomes increase and their dreams can come true.