Microcredit: The catalyst for change

Ms.Tran Thi Kim Thuy. Photo: Tran Le Hieu

In over the last 10 years, Microcredit has helped thousands of women in Ben Tre province find their way out of poverty. Nowadays, it keeps being the ‘catalyst for change’, helping beneficiaries push their boundaries

Ms.Tran Thi Kim Thuy (50 years old) and her husband are residents of Binh Hoa hamlet, Binh Dai township, Ben Tre province. For the past 30 years, they have been earning their living by selling crops grown in their home garden, such as corns, water spinach and banana. Everyday, they worked hard not only to make the family’s end meets, but also prepare for their children’s future.

In the last recent years, the couple’s effort has paid off. Their son and daughter have completed their education and been living overseas with stable jobs.

At home, Thuy and her husband continue to work on improving the household economy. In early 2020, Thuy’s hometown, Binh Dai township was selected for the expansion of the microcredit project funded by the Microcredit for Mother (MfM) foundation (the Netherlands), a sponsor of MCNV Women Empowerment (WE) program.

Thuy didn’t hesitate to take this chance to realize her goal by registering for membership. She is now member of the township’s group number 4.

Recently, Thuy made a loan worth VND 10 million (1/3 of the total cost) to invest in farming facility: a drip irrigation system.

“Thanks to microcredit group, I have got easy access to the loan I need. The lending procedure was quick and simple, no collateral is required. I therefore could purchase the equipment instantly “, she said.

The drip irrigation system in Ms.Thuy’s garden. Part of the purchase was financed by loan from the microcredit group. Photo: Tran Le Hieu

Since the system was installed, labour and workload have been significantly reduced. Ms Thuy and her husband no longer have to carry heavy buckets of water or continually dragging hoses and sprinklers from one spot to another.

Thank to the drip irrigation system, water is allowed to trickle slowly near the base of the plant through tubing, pipes, valves and emitters. As a result, constant quantities of water are delivered to the plants in a precise and continuous manner. Water hence can penetrate deeply into the soil and get well down into the plants’ root zone. Waste due to evaporation is eliminated while small flow help prevent soil erosion and nutrient runoff.

Since the Mekong Delta in general, and in Ben Tre province in particular has been severely affected by climate change and saltwater intrusion, equipment that can improve water efficiency like the drip irrigation system is a valuable asset.

“The system has been creating healthier growing conditions and higher yields for my garden. The change motivates me to work harder to improve the quality and quantity of the crops, so our vegetables can be sold in supermarkets”, Thuy said.

  • The Micro Credit and Saving project in Binh Dai district was launched by MCNV and sponsors in 2009.
  • In 2020, the project has been expanded to 11 communes and townships, including Binh Dai township, thanks to the funding of Microcredit for Mothers (MfM) foundation.
  • The project has been expanded to 11 communes and townships, providing financial services and facilitate socio-economic inclusion for over 5,000 disadvantaged and poor women, supporting household economy development, response to saltwater intrusion and new rural development.
  • Nowadays, the project has become financially self-sustained, and is being conducted with the permission of the State Bank of Vietnam, Ben Tre provincial branch.