Union for benefit of disadvantaged people

Since 2004, the Union of Friendship Organizations in the Mekong delta province of Kien Giang has built 250 classrooms, 350 cement bridges, roads, over 5,000 houses for poor people and provided vocational training to disadvantaged laborers.

The union always organized such activities for the benefit of the disadvantaged as Le Van Hong, chairman of Kien Giang’s Union of Friendship Organizations, is preoccupied by the misery of the needy.

The village Cau Vong ( Rainbow) rbings happiness to wste collectors in the Mekong delta province of Kien Giang ( Photo: SGGP)

A special village Cau Vong (Rainbow) with 100 houses worth VND70 million each was built for people who eke out an existence by collecting waste items. People there filled through slums or tents around the dumping ground where many of their children were born and played in. Le Van Hong or Hai Hong concerned about decent accommodations and bring disadvantaged boys and girls to school to save their lives.

However, to resolve the puzzle, it costs billions to build hundreds of houses meanwhile limited state budget can not help. After tossing and turning many nights, he decided to set up projects to call for investment of charity organizations and all members of the union supported the idea.

The project afterwards received US$875,000 from the United Nations Human Settlements Program, UN-HABITAT, an organization to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

One thing to note is that a vocational training center and a primary school were constructed in the village. Villagers should be taught a career and their children must learn to escape the miserable lives.

Habitants of the village were very happy in their new houses, thanking for the care of the government.

Commune Phu  My in Kien Giang’s district Kien Luong where people can not earn their living on paddy fields but they knit lepironia articulata grass into hats, bags, baskets, packages for exports as the commune has a 2,800 hectare of the twigrush ( another name of  lepironia articulata grass). However, consumption markets have shrunk, their lives are unstable.

The blue rush field is the habitat of the red-head cranes in the list of animals that need urgent preservation. Hai Hong and the union have developed the project to preserve Lepironia articulata grasslands as a great house of thousands cranes and help the farmers of Vietnam out of poverty set up by Dr. Tran Triet. 

Poor people have directly benefited from nature conservation as the project combined biodiversity conservation with poverty alleviation and ICH conservation. With better understanding of how to protect environment and ecology, the community have better use for of the grass fields; therefore contributing to the protection of the red-head cranes.

Income of local people increased from VND1.2 million (US$61,5) to VND3.4 million (US$174). Moreover, many endangered birds appeared in the field.

Thanks to the project’s high effectiveness, the project received US$520,000 from the International Crane Association. In 2007, UN-HABITAT gave the project US$30,000 and in 2010, Tech Award, an international awards program that honors innovators from around the world who are applying technology to benefit humanity, provided the project US$50,000.

By staff writers - Translated by Anh Quan

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