Looking back, making new plans and moving on again!

Last year, in our December newsletter, I told you about the programs and projects we have planned for the period 2021-2025, focusing on nutrition and food security, maternal and child care and people with disabilities, poverty alleviation and improving living conditions. The continued focus on these topics will lead to longer and more intense involvement in the projects and enable us to live up to our commitment – starting small, handing over, pulling back and continuing elsewhere where the need is also great.

Building partnerships and finding donors willing to support the programs is a big job at a time when there are lots of applications to large and smaller funds. But with our experience and concrete results in the field, we can show that we are a valued organization with specific knowledge and expertise.

We realize that there will come a time when the focus of activities and of the organization will be even more in Vietnam than now, including fundraising. And you may be wondering what your value as a donor to MCNV will be then. That question is very easy to answer: you are vital to our programs and projects because there is always a contribution to be made by the organization itself, often up to a quarter of the grant to be received. The gifts and donations of donors like you are the source of those own contributions and thus a prerequisite for working with partners and donors.

Our great desire is to continue to partner with you in 2023 and support our colleagues in Vietnam and Laos. The work is not yet finished and both financially and morally MCNV desperately needs you to continue with our mission. We feel privileged with your unconditional support and thank you very much in advance for your (extra) donation!

On behalf of all colleagues, I wish you good holidays and a healthy 2023.

Karin Vlug
Senior Advisor Fundraising MCNV

For more information (in Dutch) see page 4-5 of our magazine.

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Magazine 2022-4

For a download of our magazine (in Dutch) click here.

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New roof for Pa-Loiy school

Last September MCNV Laos supported the Nong district government and Nong district education office by contributing 25.458.000 Kip (about 1.425 Euro) for materials needed to repair the roof of the Pa-loiy’s primary school, a village school with 3 teachers and about 90 children. Mrs. Xangthong Kiedtavong, Nong district vice governor and Mr. Kandam Phueiysayavong, Director of Nong district education office received this budget from a MCNV representative.

MCNV representative hands over the contribution to district government officials
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New project in Nong District (Laos)

Together in action for mother and child health

In August 2022, MCNV Laos and partner in Nong district started the process of setting up village health workers in ten target villages. The project Together in action for mother and child health is supported by the Dutch AFAS Foundation. After the project CANTEEN has finished last year, this is the second collaboration of the AFAS Foundation and MCNV.

The district health office selected a total of 39 village health workers from the 10 target villages using the health sector criteria guideline. The selected candidates have related experience and skills and can speak and write in Lao language and above all have the support and trust from their fellow villagers.

Getting to the project villages took some combined effort
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Forestry in the fight against poverty and climate change

Follow-up to the PROSPER project

In the multi-year PROSPER program we have told you about before, we are guiding small foresters in Quang Tri province toward sustainable forest management. The wood from the trees and the oil from the seeds of the tung trees are given an FSC (Forest Steward Council) label, thus providing farmers with a better, fair price. The EU funds 75% of the program, the remaining 25% is MCNV’s own contribution.

Dinh and a newly planted 3-months old tung tree

About 100 participating households received compensation for planting tung trees and native plants last year. A trial was also conducted to see if the planting of tung trees could prevent landslides. In total, with support from Project PROSPER, some 300 hectares of forest have now been planted in northern Huong Hoa.

The Vietnamese government has declared PROSPER a best practice in their own program “Plant a billion trees in the period 2021-2025”. A next project, as a follow-up to PROSPER, could allow expansion to more households of foresters in other villages, and certification for CO2 storage and biodiversity, among other things, could also be a next step.

Our question to you

Promoting sustainable forestry is a good way to help lift small farmers and their families out of poverty. They get a better price and higher yield for sustainably grown timber and seeds. But there are more benefits: for nature and the fight against climate change. Planting trees improves the soil, water balance and CO2 uptake. We started a small-scale forestry project in Quang Tri in 2020, and we now see opportunities to support more farmers. The plans are already clear, your support is indispensable to implement them. More trees means more farming families out of poverty!

Will you help us to provide more foresters with more livelihood security in the coming year?
With € 20,000 we can take the next step in a new project in 2023.

Thank you very much for your (extra) gift!
Team MCNV-CVN

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Magazine 2022-3

For a download of our Magazine (in Dutch) click here.

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Changes in MCNV Supervisory Board

This summer a changing of the guard took place in the Supervisory Board of MCNV. Chairman Marijke Postma earlier announced that she was going to reduce her workload and therefore decided not to serve out her second term. Marijke, chairman since 2016, has led MCNV through the change of management, attended the celebration of the 50th anniversary of MCNV in Laos and contributed to two multi-year strategy plans (2017-2021 and 2021-2025). Under her chairmanship, MCNV has been able to strengthen its position as a reliable organization with a recognizable profile.

At her farewell, Marijke emphasized that Vietnam and Laos will always have a special place with her.

“For me, the contact with marginalized groups and the small scale of the projects is essential, even more than the topics. That expertise and the way of working, so very successful over the years in Vietnam, can be of great benefit in Laos in the coming years.”

Mattijs Smits also says goodbye to the Supervisory Board. From his position as a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Policy at Wageningen University and with his personal knowledge of and experience in Southeast Asia, Mattijs has made a valuable, substantive contribution for 7,5 years. A focus on the improvement of living conditions and the consequences of climate change were paramount.

New Members of the Supervisory Board

At the beginning of 2022, we welcomed two new members of the Supervisory Board: Cily Keizer and Nathalie Veenman. Cily Keizer has more than 30 years of experience in international cooperation and has lived in Southeast Asia for a long time. Nathalie Veenman has lived in Laos, worked at policy and program level in international development and is now Director of Communication and Development at the Wildlife Justice Commission.

The Supervisory Board has elected Cily Keizer as chairman as of 15 August 2022. Both Cily and Nathalie introduce themselves to you here.

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Healthy food, strong women and equal opportunities

New plans to strengthen our nutrition program

In Nong and Sepone, two municipalities in the province of Savannakhet, Laos, a lot of work has been done in recent years to improve the food situation and food security. With the support of partners and donors, vegetable gardens, chickens and fish ponds, school canteens were created, and information about healthy nutrition for pregnant women and mothers was shared.

school garden

These structural changes have a positive influence on the position of girls and young women. According to the traditional division of roles, the daughters look after the younger children and the women work on the land. Men make almost all decisions, including about food. As a woman, giving your opinion or learning something for your future is often not accepted. As a result, the position of women in this poor, remote area remains vulnerable and they remain dependent on their husbands.

600 women and girls

MCNV has made a plan to give extra support to 600 women and girls from ten villages in Sepone in the field of organization and entrepreneurship. The women learn which crops are suitable, when to plant and harvest and to sell them at the market. They are allowed to participate in decisions about financial matters such as the purchase of manure, seeds and fish feed. It gives the women self-confidence and a place in the community. The men are involved in the program to experience that the family and specifically nutrition is a joint responsibility.

Many girls from the villages in Sepone now do not go to school because they have to take care of their younger brothers and sisters. As a result, they miss the opportunity to learn to read, write and count. We hope with this program to change the situation, so that girls can go to school to learn and develop.

The program will contribute to good nutrition for pregnant women and their children, but aims especially to strengthen young girls and women, who can look forward to a healthy and equal future through education and more knowledge. We want to go there together with you!

Thank you very much for your (extra) contribution!

Sincerely, Sivone Mouanaotou

MCNV Program Manager in Laos

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Magazine 2022-2

For a download of our magazine in Dutch click here.

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