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Home » Our work » Success stories » 2010
Spirituality – The Key to a Good Future

With the great determination and the strong belief, people can overcome all difficulties. The story of Ms. Nguyen Thi Tam in Xuong Thanh B commune, Thoi Thanh village of Ben Tre province is a striking demonstration of this. Her family used to live under the poverty life. However, with the assistance of Heifer and her great determination to overcome poverty, her family is on the way to pull through the hard life.

Spirituality – The Key to a Good Future
We visited Ms. Tam’s family at noon under the blazing heat. What still impresses us was the pretty house standing by the peaceful river, connecting with the other riverside by the foot bridge. Around the house were pools of “ba ba” – a small-sized turtle living in fresh water, a cow shed and flowers. Ms. Nguyen Thi Tam, age 34, is married to Mr. Nguyen Van Trung, 36. They are parents of one son who is a good student in the 4th grade. They are living in Xuong Thanh B commune, Thoi Thanh village of Ben Tre province where Heifer’s project, “Beef Cattle and Improving Family Income of Farmers Based on Self-Help Groups” helps 40 original households.
        Ms. Nguyen Thi Tam
Before taking part in the Heifer project in 2008, the family relied on their humble income. Tam was a seasonal laborer, and her husband was a worker of a seafood company. They were selected to participate in the project because of their hard work and determination to change their lives. They received a cow from Heifer and began looking for other ways to improve their income.
With the great determination to overcome poverty, she discussed with her husband borrowing the money from relatives, the state bank and the micro-loan from the project to raise the turtles, fish, goats. To stay up-to-date on the health of their animals and their expenses, the couple always records all expenses on food for the animals, incubation dates for the turtle eggs, the number of incubated turtle eggs, and vaccination and breeding dates for the cows.
Moreover, Tam is enthusiastic with project activities such as monthly meetings, the group savings fund, and hosting guests and delegations visiting the group. And, she is a good cashier for the group, keeping records and the saving fund carefully. “I am interested in taking part in the group. I manage to balance the farming work and group activities since those activities are useful and have made many changes for myself and my family. So far, I have been more confident in talking and communicating with everybody. My family learns to protect our surrounding environment, sharing and caring among family members, managing animal health by record books and so on. We learn everything from the trainings and the 12 Cornerstones,” Tam said.
Now, Ms. Tam is able to stay at home, taking care of the animals, housework and teaching her son. In order to cover all daily expenses of the entire family, Mr. Trung, the pillar of the house, still does seasonal work in other provinces, earning an income ranging from U.S $52 to U.S. $105 per month. They spend most of the income on food for the animals while minimizing their own expenses.
The couple with their cows
Hardship and failure hardly hinder the young and energetic couple from lifting themselves out of poverty. “The ‘Spirituality’ Cornerstone interests me most. Beliefs, optimism, good spirit and confidence will lead us to success. My husband and I believe that together, we will pull through the hard life and afford to send our son to school for his own bright future afterwards.” Ms. Tam shared.

Written by Xuan Quyen Nguyen,
Communication and Networking Officer
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