Tran Thi Than is married with two children and is a VisionFund client at Lang Chanh branch in Vietnam. Before, her family was extremely poor and lived in a very small house with leaves for the roof, bamboo walls and no furniture. Her family’s income was mostly from collecting bamboo shoots and medical herbs in the forest and doing manual labor for other people, leaving them with a very unstable income.
Tran Thi Than received her first loan from VisionFund in 2013 for US $220 to raise pigs. After selling the first herd of pigs, she continued to reinvest her profits in a second herd of pigs. After one year, with the money from selling pigs and savings from manual labor work, she decided to buy a buffalo. The buffalo helped her family have a stable income from ploughing, and assisting other households.
After paying back the first loan, she borrowed $435 from VisionFund to plant sugar cane, acacia and bamboo. After five loan cycles of a total amount of US $2,700, her family now has one hectare of sugar cane, four hectares of acacia, two hectares of bamboo and ten cows, equal to US$ 21,000 of assets. Microfinance helped her family have a stable income through pig and cow raising, sugar cane and acacia planting. Her family is well out of the poverty cycle; she creates not only stable work for her family but also seasonal work for other people in her village.
In addition, Than takes care of her children’s health and education needs. Both of her children have been excellent students for years. She was also awarded a Good Family Production award in her community. Than is also an active and enthusiastic member of her commune’s Women’s Union. In 2018, her success story is also recognized by the Citi Vietnam foundation, as she was awarded one of 30 Typical Micro-Entrepreneur awards in Vietnam.
Ms. Than shared: “Starting from scratch, microfinance loans help my family have a stable income. After five loan cycles, my family has accumulated assets and savings. We have enough furniture in our house. Our meals are adequately nutritious. We bought bicycles for our children to go to school. Besides learning at school, our children attend extracurricular classes and clubs to develop their life skills. During summer vacation, we can go on a family trip without financial concerns, which we could only dream of before.”