Supporting community to improve livelihoods

Thursday 20 November 2014

Nguyen Thi Duyen’s Story

My name is Nguyen Thi Duyen and I live with my husband, My, and our two children, ages 9 (girl) and 14 (boy), in a slum of Hiep Tri hamlet, Phuoc Trung commune. My husband and I grew up and married in this commune and have always been quite poor, however we have positive hopes for our future.

My is the breadwinner of our family. Sometimes he goes fishing in the local channels, and during harvest season he transfers rice packs but lately he has been suffering chronic back pain. All of his jobs are unstable and dependent on the season. In recent years the climate has changed so much, when it rains heavily for long periods my husband cannot earn any money.

I have always tried to find work to contribute to our family’s income, however my low blood pressure prevents me from doing jobs that involve working outside. Our income fluctuates greatly and we have very little for our family’s daily expenses.

Considering both our health issues, as well as the negative impacts that the change in weather is having on our community, it seemed impossible that we could improve our situation. One day, however, we received information from our village leader about a Biosafety Goat Raising Model (BGRM) as part Save the Children’s “Child-centred Climate Resilience Project” in Tien Giang.

When we found out about this model my husband and I were thrilled and registered eagerly. Every day I prayed for good news to come to our house and how happy I was when the Agriculture Extension Center Officer and village leader told us we had been selected as model recipients and would receive a pair of goats that year!

In June the hamlet leader delivered the goats to our home and we cried with joy. Since then we have started training sessions on the topics of climate change and it’s impact on peoples lives, technical assistance for building a goat cage, how to raise them, disease treatment and prevention. We often have gatherings for members of the BGRM at our house so we can share our experiences and concerns with eachother.

Goats are a good option in our province as they adapt easily to climate change and contract fewer diseases than other livestock. In addition, we don’t need to invest much money to raise them as we can cut grass around our house to feed them.Since the day the goats arrived our house is a happier place. The children support their father to collect grass for the goats and take care of them after school.

We have great plans for our goats in the future. When the male goat has gained enough weight he will be sold and we will buy a new female to breed, so we are able to increase the number of goats we have. Our family can use the goat meat and milk in our cooking, as well as increasing our income by selling it at market. With the profit my first priority is to invest in my children’s schooling, and then I will seek treatment for my husband’s backaches.

This livelihood model is part of a broader Save the Children’s “Child -Centered Climate Resilience” in Tien Giang Province which aims to support 7 communes in Go Cong Dong District and Go Cong town to adapt to extreme weather variation and to sustain their livelihoods through introducing organic cultivation and environment friendly livestock raising.