Empowering women has been the most concern topic all over the world. In developing countries where there is a huge gap of basic rights between women & men. In Vietnam where rural areas cosplay 70% of the population for the country, women have less authority in household than men. That"s why Vietnam Women"s Union has been established since October 20, 1930 besides the International Woman Union in order lớn protect the women"s right.

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10 years ago, only the celebration for International Women Day was the big thing for women back then. However; as the country grows, the position of women in society can"t be denial. As 20/10 celebration grows bigger through out the year, I can feel the important of women having her own entrepreneurs & they become more confident.
Our field partner, East Meets West, together with local Women Union offer a special loan sản phẩm that help building hygienic latrines for low in-come women. As I had opportunity lớn talked to lớn Mrs. Ngoc, the vice chairwoman of hai Duong Women Union, I expressed my concern on how they can pay back on those loans if they are so poor. Mrs. Ngoc answered that lending to the poor is much assure than to the rich. The poors have their dignity, especially women. By having a loan, it will be a motivation not only for improving hygiene but also helping her more creative in productivity. For example, before taking the loan for latrine, with income less than $35, her family would care less about sanitary as well as she might not utilize her garden or invest in raising poultries. A septic tank latrine is a solution for hygiene plus it can create không tính phí access khổng lồ organic fertilizer. The loan also gives the women purposes lớn go above & beyond, by improving her family living condition, she"ll feel more confident not only having a voice in her family, but also gaining position in her commune.
Mrs. Ngoc - Vice Chairwoman of nhị Duong WU
Sharing the same thought, mrs. Tinh, Coordinator in Thanh Hoa Fund for Poor Women said that eversince the organization established in 2008, they have helped more than 1,300 group loans started up. Many groups have reached their 4th loan cycle after 5 years with the repayment rate that"s the strong proof of growth và demand for this loan product.
Back in 2010, when I first lent out in, it took me quite some times to read through the profile, risk rate, about the field partner, & the repayment term lớn ensure that I will have my money repay back. FPW was one of the field partners that I made most of my loans & I was impressed by their accuracy in repayment and journal. You can check out more loans from FPW here Together with Tinh, we went to lớn Thieu Hoa to visit some of the borrowers who have successfully repaid & expanded their business.
Thieu Hoa is 45 minutes away from Thanh Hoa city, it was raining on that day so we decided khổng lồ take the bus then the commune staffs would take us to visit the client.
FPW"s Thieu Hoa staffs
Mrs. Phuong, she"s small yet her face always has a happy smile. Greeted us in her new "restaurant", she told us about her journey to lớn start up business.
Mrs. Phuong và her restaurant
It was back khổng lồ the time when she was single, she mainly sold accessories to lớn students in junior and high school in Thanh Hoa city for 6 years. When she got married và had a baby, they decided to lớn move out of the đô thị in 2006. It was tough because Phuong didn"t know any neighbors in that area. Her baby was small & she was unemployed during that time. The burden of economic made she once thought that it couldn"t get worse, then the Women Union of Thieu Hoa had a campaign for microfinance, Phuong was approved for a small loan with lớn start her business in general retail. After 5 loan cycle, she now expands her business khổng lồ restaurant that major in roasted duck.
Phuong"s restaurant in Thieu Hoa
Phuong said that when she first opened her retail store, this neighbor wasn"t this crowded, there were only 3-5 houses around, her husband is a truck driver that often has to transport goods away from home. When she initiated the idea of mở cửa a small retail at home, her husband supported & he helped her in delivery goods go her retail shop. Now with the new business, her husband spends more time as the main chef, & educates their 2 kids. Phuong also shared that the Women Union also a great place for women in commune gather and share their experience in life và business. She said that from empty hands, her family now can have a stable income, her kids can have good education and she can employ some labors in her commune during peak season to help out at the siêu thị and restaurant. Phuong is grateful for people who have helped her start-up and"s loans have absolutely made a huge impact to lớn her life.
Prepare for the evening sales
It"s so inspiring lớn be able khổng lồ meet with these amazing women. Visiting our next borrowers, Mrs. Nhan, has overcome her hardship eversince she married and moved out of her village. My impression about Mrs. Nhan is a strong will woman, she has never given up both in her life và business. She said that once she decided to take loans, she would vì her best khổng lồ pay it back. She remembered her first loan that wasn"t with FPW back in 2007, when the ngân hàng refused khổng lồ lend khổng lồ Mrs. Nhan, she had khổng lồ take loan with high interest from a loan shark. She used that loan lớn invest in buying a motorcycle for transporting fruits. Mrs. Nhan is the main worker in her household, her husband is a guard for a local kindergarden that couldn"t afford lớn sustain the whole family. It took her awhile to pay off her first loan, then the Thieu Hoa Women"s Union encouraged her to lớn take loan with FPW lớn expand her shop for not only selling fruits, but also dry food. With the advantage of the loan hàng hóa that FPW offered, Mrs. Nhan only have lớn pay back a small amount of principle, interest & saving within a year. Through time, Mrs. Nhan has proved her business và micro-leadership skills. Each member in the family supports her business lượt thích her husband deliver goods, her 2 sons helped in taking care of the shop. In peak season lượt thích Lunar New Year, she also opened a parking lot for tourists. Education for her sons is the only wish that Mrs. Nhan has, even in through the hardship time, she ate less khổng lồ save money so her kids can go to school. Hard working and creative in her business, she does pretty much evreything from selling fruits & sweets lớn fixing bicycles, her family now can have a stable life.
Mrs. Nhan happily shared to lớn us that this is her 4th loan cycle and she"s going on the 5th cycle lớn stock up for Lunar New Year peak season. Both of her sons already graduated from university và currently working at the local government office in Thanh Hoa. Mrs. Nhan has become a great role mã sản phẩm that inspiring other women to step up và decide khổng lồ change.
Never gave into poverty, that"s the spirit for most of the women I have met in Vietnam. With just $25, a loan can empower women with capital, trust, & more than anything a key khổng lồ fight against poverty.

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About the author

Huyen Bui

Huyen is originally from Vietnam and has been studying broad in the States for more than 6 years. She graduated from University of Houston with her ba in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. After that, she spent a year back in her home country to work with Unilever Vietnam as International sale Management Trainee. Currently, Huyen is doing her Masters in Project Management. Huyen is excited khổng lồ start her Fellowship in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam and looking forward to sharpening her professional skills not only in marketing, but also in project management. She hopes khổng lồ bring a new energy to the team as well as helping more people start their businesses.

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