ChildFund Supports Livelihoods for People in Trung Khanh, Cao Bang

Starting to implement activities and projects in education, health, clean water, environmental sanitation, child protection and livelihoods in Trung Khanh district (Cao Bang province) since 2010, the non-profit organization ChildFund supported the local people by reducing poverty and improving their quality of life.
June 26, 2023 | 09:19
ChildFund Supports Livelihoods for People in Trung Khanh, Cao Bang
Phu harvests galangal. Photo: ChildFund

Escape from poverty thanks to galangal

Three years ago, Hua Van Phu (in Ngoc Son village, Quang Vinh commune, Trung Khanh district) could only grow corn on a 3,000 square meters plot of land in the middle of the mountain because of lack of water.

His family harvests two crops of corn each year, but that is not enough for him to provide for the whole family.

In 2020, Phu and people in Ngoc Son village were introduced by ChildFund Vietnam to create a new income with galangal plant. He and 12 other households boldly implemented the galangal model in the hope that the new crop would increase the family's income and promote economic growth for the community.

Households participating in the model are supported with seeds, fertilizers and training on how to take care of plants. After attending a technical workshop and applying what he learned, Phu quickly saw the benefits of switching from corn to galangal in just nine months.

"I find the land here is ideal for growing galangal, which brings in significantly higher income than corn," he said.

Phu's first galangal harvest was a great success. The galangal grows well in the climate and soil conditions of Quang Vinh commune, is easy to care for and has good disease resistance.

His family harvested 2.4 tons of galangal, selling it for VND16,000 (US$0.68)/kg, earning a profit of VND22 million (US$935) after deducting cultivation costs. This is three times the amount they can earn from growing corn.

Currently, when the family's economy is stable, Phu spends more time with his children, cooks breakfast and takes them to school every day.

Starting with only 2.4ha from 13 households in 2020, by 2022, the model of galangal in Quang Vinh commune expanded to 30ha. It contributes to raising the income of households in the commune, promoting youth economic development.

Expand the project area for local people's benefit

According to Vuong Van Nguyen, vice chairman of the Commune People's Committee, Quang Vinh is a particularly difficult commune. Since accessing ChildFund's community support projects more than 10 years ago, people's lives here changed a lot. People are provided with buffaloes and cows, participating in livelihood support models such as galangal plant. Roads in the commune are also funded by ChildFund to build.

Through education, children's rights and child protection projects, children in Quang Vinh commune have spacious schools, playgrounds, and are supported with bags, clothes, and milk.

Not only providing material support, ChildFund also organized training courses to improve child care skills for mothers, established clubs with useful activities for young children.

ChildFund Supports Livelihoods for People in Trung Khanh, Cao Bang
Trung Khanh district, Cao Bang province. Photo: truyenhinhdulich

With clean water and sanitation programs, ChildFund supports people to build toilets and clean water tanks. From 2012 up to now, the commune health station has reached the national standard.

Ha Thi Cuc, principal of Quang Vinh Kindergarten also said that before the ChildFund project, the school's facilities were poor. The playground is narrow, there is no kitchen, no closed toilet in the classroom.

ChildFund supported the school to build new classrooms, libraries, playgrounds, kitchens, and toilets. The classrooms are equipped with more learning materials and toys to help children experience and be creative. Teachers in the school can participate in projects to improve professional activities, so that their knowledge and teaching methods are more innovative and creative.

"In the past, for students of the H'mong ethnic group, Vietnamese was a big challenge because both parents and the community spoke ethnic language in daily life. Since applying the model of parents as teaching assistants, their Vietnamese skills improved markedly," said Ha Thi Cuc.

At the meeting with ChildFund Country Director in Vietnam in July 2022, Doan Trong Hung, director of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Cao Bang province, said that ChildFund is one of the organizations with a commitment to support and actual disbursement accounting for most of the activities of NGOs in Cao Bang.

Cao Bang Provincial People's Committee approved the policy for ChildFund to conduct a survey to expand the project area in Ha Quang district.

Appreciating the results of ChildFund's activities in Cao Bang in recent years, the Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Cao Bang province wished that ChildFund Vietnam would continue to expand the project area so that people could access and benefit from its projects.

ChildFund is a non-governmental organization operating in Cao Bang since 2009 in the fields of people's livelihood, health care, education, clean water, sanitation, and child protection. Currently, ChildFund maintains and implements a number of projects in the districts of Trung Khanh, Quang Hoa and Thach An.
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