Providing more protein-rich food for children continues to be urgent in coming years
Nutrition for children from poor families living in remote villages in Phu Yen province requires a lot of extra attention. We have regularly written to you about this and asked you for an extra contribution. We want to continue to do this in the coming years because too many young children are malnourished. They need more and better food to grow up healthy and to independently and strongly build their own future at a later age.
Protect the forest, then the forest protects the village
More than a year ago, a group of farmers in Quang Tri, with the support of MCNV, took the first steps in a sustainable and small-scale forestry project. They started to grow wood and produce furniture oil in a better way, in order to get a better market price and a more stable income. In addition, the farmers work together to manage and protect the forests against illegal logging.
Safe childbirth and growing up healthy in Nong and Sepone
In 2006, a group of Laotian health professionals saw what MCNV employees in Vietnam managed to achieve. Also on their side of the border there were many health problems and they asked MCNV for help. That was the beginning of our cooperation in the border district of Nong in Laos, ‘diseases do not stop at the border’. Since then, Nong has already better sanitation, drinking water and better nutrition. But good care for mother and child has been left behind, too many women and babies die during or after childbirth. There is insufficient knowledge about safe childbirth and women do not know where to go for help and advice during and after pregnancy.
Village health workers in the lead
We came up with a plan for Nong and the nearby district of Sepone, where the load of experience we gained in Nong now comes in handy. We want to train the village health workers in how to take care of pregnancy and childbirth, in postnatal care and good and sufficient nutrition for (pregnant) women and children. Village health workers are close to the people, speak the local language, know the traditions and recognize the difficulties from their own experience. Having faith in village health workers ensures that mothers will follow the advice and feel supported in the care of the family.
First aid in every village
The more than 150 villages in Nong and Sepone are located in a hard-to-reach area. If something goes wrong during or after childbirth, a care worker from the district health center will never get to the village in time. By in each village teaching a village health worker a number of lifesaving procedures, there is (emergency) aid close by and we reduce the chance of death during or after childbirth.
Support the women and children in Nong and Sepone!
With an amount of € 20,000, we can train 158 village health workers in Nong and Sepone so that the women in the villages can give birth safely and the baby and child mortality, which is now far too high, can quickly decrease. We use some of the money to help young mothers with a first advice on healthy nutrition for their babies and small children to get a chance to grow up healthy. This is a beautiful plan that we would very much like to take further, together with you!
On behalf of our team: Thank you very much for your (extra) contributions! Karin Vlug
Our strength remains: help where it is most needed
In Vietnam and Laos, the effects of COVID-19 have also been felt, but the situation in both countries has been under control for a number of months. This is important for the most vulnerable people that MCNV supports. Of course, work has been left, meetings in the villages have not been held and our colleagues in Vietnam and Laos were temporarily unable to travel, but fortunately the damage has been limited and the work is in full swing.
Even after the recent severe floods in the central and southern of Vietnam and Laos, the thread has been picked up again. Houses are being built and building land is being re-flattened and processed to plant rice and other crops. This is a lot of work and takes time, but support is being given from all sides , including from our donors.
Not all can do it on their own
As you know, MCNV always jumps in where other, external, help is missing. That’s how we’ve been working since the early days and that’s where our strength lies. Of course, you may wonder whether the role of MCNV is still crucial, whether the people in Vietnam in particular should not be able to take care of themselves, to be responsible for themselves. That is partly true, in many places in Vietnam our aid is no longer needed. But in a number of other – mostly remote areas – our aid is really indispensable. That’s what we’re going for in 2021, that’s what we are all about!
From vulnerable to resilient
In 2020, we asked for your support for a new forestry project and for food projects in Vietnam and Laos, programs that you have enthusiastically contributed to. You gave vulnerable families in remote areas a chance to get better nutrition for the children in a different, sustainable way and to gain a more stable income. Together with you, we try to make these people more resilient so that in times of adversity they have something to fall back on.
A new year, new opportunities!
In order to catch up with the work and to be able to bring it further, we ask for your (extra) gift this Christmas. Our employees in Vietnam and Laos are very keen to continue to support the families who are not yet able to make it on their own. Your extra Christmas gift will ultimately benefit the poorest. Thank you very much for your loyalty and support!
Karin Vlug MCNV Amsterdam
You can read all about our special Christmas campaign on page 4 and 5 of our Magazine.
In Nong, the poorest district in Savannakhet province, Laos, malnutrition is a persistent problem. A few years ago we started growing nutritious crops on plots of land near the villages. As a result, people no longer had to go into the forest to look for food. The forests are less depleted and important animal and plant species in the forest are preserved. A great asset for the future!
In Quang Tri province, MCNV is starting a new project in which we link the living conditions of small foresters to sustainable forest management. The project is called Prosper and is aimed at guiding a group of foresters in a sustainable way of working, allowing them to sell certified acacia wood at a better price in a few years. We help a second group with the production and processing of seeds from the tung tree into certified tung oil, a type of furniture oil. The oil gets a quality mark and the farmers a fair price. We also help farmers find companies that want to buy the wood and the oil.
The nutritional programs in Phu Yen and Savannakhet in a nutshell
We help villagers grow nutrient-rich crops on a plot of land next to their home. We teach mothers how to prepare the new vegetables. The little ones every day receive a nutritious meal at school or playground and we advise on clean drinking water and hygiene. There is also extra guidance for pregnant women and newborn children. We ask your support to eradicate hunger in these villages for good, our dream! With € 25,000 we can continue this year in both countries with small but structural improvement of the livelihoods of the villagers.
After MCNV’s successful contribution to the Support Centers for inclusive education of handicapped children in Dak Lak, Phu Yen and Cao Bang, we are now supervising the construction of a new center for the province of Dien Bien. This winter we ask for your support for this special project. Give these children the right education, in a nice place where they can play and learn!
The management of this new center in Dien Bien Phu would very much like to visit the Support Centers in Dak Lak or in Cao Bang to learn from our previous experiences and the staff members asked to continue our support. Thirdly, we would like to build safe sports fields next to the building. All in all, we still need 25,000 euros for this. It would be great if you would like to help with that!
In Phu Mo, Phu Yen province and in Nong, Savannakhet province (Laos), MCNV supervises two projects to combat child malnutrition. Our approach to the problems in the isolated villages is broader than just a nutrition plan for the little ones, we also include agriculture and hygiene in and around the houses. The result: better food, fewer diseases and, in the long run, less poverty.
Staying healthy, finishing school, finding a job. When you are 15 years old and you grow up in a remote, poor village in Central Vietnam, some basic conditions for a ‘normal’ life seem to be lacking. MCNV started a project in Huong Hoa in which we look beyond the health of teenage girls.