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Gender equality & Sexual education

This program focus on promoting the economic independence and social integration of women and for a society where they have a right place. By this, the poor and vulnerable women attend to the need of their family and strengthen their position in the community through diversification and increase their income and better understanding of their basis rights. Besides, the development and establishment of a school Sex & Health Education curriculum for both boys and girls in secondary schools will educate the younger generation in women’s equality, and build a community with positive attitudes towards girls and women.

Activities are implemented to achieve gender equality at community:

  • Establishing key actors  who will join in the project
  • Training of trainer for key actors
  • Training sessions for local women and men with diverse topics: Basic human rights, Domestic violence, Positive thinking, Self awareness, etc.
  • Providing legal aid for men & women
  • Establishment of safe houses, happy families club.

 

 

Activities are implemented to achieve gender equality at schools:

  • Establishing key actors who are teachers
  • Training of trainer for these teachers
  • Organizing classes on life skills & sexual education
  • Organizing Workshops, & competition, etc.

Environment

Biogas Systems – Thien Chi has introduced the Biogas system which produces methane gas for medium to large piggeries. The eco-friendly systems are relatively easy to install, with many farmers now able to install the system themselves. They have a very simple operating procedure with minimal maintenance required: methane gas is produced from the entire piggery. The substantial saving in the amount of energy needed is helping to reduce forest destruction, and the farmers are also benefiting with reduced energy costs and a cleaner environment throughout the pig pens.
 
 
 
Organic Fertiliser – Thien Chi is recommending the use of organic fertilizer to farmers throughout the districts and has commenced production of organic compost to highlight the benefits. Read more …..
 
Waste Recycling Plants – These plants have been established by Thien Chi to address the ever increasing problem of waste collection and disposal. Waste is collected and sorted into recycling and compost basins. Recycling waste is sold and waste suitable for compost is treated and processed before being sold as organic fertiliser. Read more ….
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tree Planting – To help provide a greener environment, on average, Thien Chi planted 10,000 trees/year throughout 3 districts where Thien Chi is implementing the projects . Many of these trees provide economic support for needy communities and also promote benefits to the environment.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Water & Soil Contamination – Poor household sanitation is contributing to water and soil contamination in many areas. Support to build latrines, wells and clean water filtering systems is having an impact on changing village life for the better. Providing benefits of a cleaner environment with improved community health, increased water catchment and safer food supplies is increasing the awareness of environmental issues throughout our communities. For instance, in 2012, Thien Chi supported the installation of 245 latrines and 36 wells for those living in poverty. Installation of Alum Water Processing Systems in 52 households in the district of Duc Linh was completed in May 2013. As a result, over 260 people now have direct access to clean water supplies. Year and year, Thien Chi always try to find more funds to support for more poor households with clean water and other hygiene systems to make their life better!
 
 
 

Employment Creation

In order to provide more employment opportunities for those living in extreme poverty in the Binh Thuan province, Thien Chi has successfully introduced and implemented local workshops to provide ongoing, sustainable employment and specialized skills to local workers.

Hand Made Quilts – Thien Chi has established quilting groups in all 3 districts which provides job for approx.70 women. These workers are now highly skilled and making quality, sought after quilts. There is a ready market through the Mekong Quilts retail outlets in Vietnam & Cambodia: Mekong+

Bamboo Workshop – Another successful workshop has been operated by Thien Chi in Tanh Linh (2009) & Ham Thuan Nam (2013). Products made from bamboo, e.g. plates, bowls, trays, platters, vases, small furniture items etc are marketed through Mekong + in HCMC. This workshop has successfully designed and produced an innovative bamboo bicycle which has been well received. The bikes are sold in all 6 shops of Mekong+ and exported. Read more: Terre d’Oc

Rattan Workshops – 2 workshops are now operating in Ham Thuan Nam district. Rattan sticks used for inclusion with perfume and aroma oil products, are produced at these centres. Other unique designs, including Christmas decorations, are also produced on a smaller scale.

Incense Stick making – This small workshop commenced in Duc Linh in 2008. Through the ongoing partnership with Mekong Plus, this workshop has a ready export market and last year produced 8 ton of incense sticks for export to France.

Waste Recycling – Thien Chi has established 2 waste recycling plants in the Lac Tanh and Dong Kho communes of Tanh Linh and is now producing a new kind of organic compost fertilizer. This compost has been analyzed and is recommended to local farmers due to its nutrient content and high quality. Recycled waste together with the produced compost is sold to recover operational costs. These plants are now in need of an up-grade to remain competitive and cover costs.

 

 

Short term projects – In partnership with local authorities, Thien Chi projects such as tree planting and road and bridge building also provide short term jobs for the unemployed on an irregular basis.

Education

 Thien Chi believes education is a basic right for all children and access to all is vital in offering hope to these communities for a better future. And, children are our main beneficiaries in almost programs at community. See more: our views about children’s right
 
 

Education Scholarships – By providing Education Scholarships of 500,000VND (approx US$25) per year, many families are eager to send, or keep their children in school. At risk families and children are identified through schools, local authorities and village workers and introduced to Thien Chi for assessment.

 

Dental Hygiene Program – A tooth brushing program has been designed and introduced into 142 schools and kindergartens. Thien Chi has trained teachers in the delivery of this program.

Inclusive Education – Thien Chi is assisting in the training of teachers to support primary school students with special needs. Integrating these students into schools and general classrooms with individual learning programs and parental involvement, is the focus of this project. The successful Happy Rooms which have been implemented in 13. primary schools, cater for specifically designed support programs for those identified with disabilities. Expert advisors continue to assist Thien Chi implement these special programs, see more: How fantastic…by Rick Fleming

 

 

Eyesight Screening – Screening of Primary school students is conducted annually. Those who are identified with sight problems are referred to receive expert medical diagnosis. If glasses are recommended, Thien Chi arranges for the purchase of these, and if further treatment is required, the student and parent are taken to HCMC for hospitalization.

 

 

School Libraries – Enhancement of libraries with purchase of books, resources and the establishment of green libraries.

 

 

Computer Centres – Thien Chi, in partnership with local schools, has established computer centres in 47 schools in this province and continues to provide ongoing support and training for teachers in delivering the Information Technology curriculum.

 

 

Improved Infrastructure – Thien Chi continues to support schools and kindergartens to build latrines, concrete playgrounds, and covered playground areas for students.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Livestock

livestock1_1Paravets -To encourage a better variety of animals, Thiện Chí helps to train para vets and also provides credit to them to set up model farms. Vaccination programs are also run in co-operation with the government Livestock Centre. Thiện Chí staff also encourage new techniques in production methods with the local communities which will help to increase output and quality, reduce costs and increase income, and to be more environmental friendly.
 
Biogas systems -These methane gas producing livestock1_2systems have been successfully introduced into medium to large sized piggeries. Low cost, they are economical: the investment is recouped within less than a year. One system replaces firewood and thus saves about one tree every month. The emission of the dangerous methane gas is eliminated.
 
Egg Inclivestock2_1ubation – With technical training and advice from Thiện Chí staff, many successful ‘free range’ chicken enterprises have been established. The egg incubation technology has increased product output and the free range quality has increased the demand for these chickens. Thiện Chí now uses these successful egg incubation ventures as teaching and training venues for interested farmers from other communities.
 
Micro Loan Assistance – Tlivestock2_2hose poor households who obtain loans to raise pigs, chickens, ducks etc are supported with technical training, vaccination requirements, etc. Visits by Thiện Chí to assess their progress at made at regular intervals.

Agronomy

This program sets up farmers’ groups and provides them with the opportunity of regular training. Field trips are organized to learn about new techniques. Assistance is provided to acquire suitable and cheaper inputs from recommended sources. 

Thien Chi advised this farmer how to install automatic watering to his vegetable garden. His output has increased by 30% and the increased quality has made his produce easy to market. This farm is now used as a pilot to train other farmers in this relatively cheap technique.

 

 

 

agric1This farmer used an interest free loan from Thien Chi to buy a net: She can now grow vegetables even during the heavy rains. She also uses less chemicals and her monthly income has greatly increased.

 

 

 

 

 

agric2

Thien Chi provided dragon fruit advice for this couple who can now afford to pay university fees for 3 of their children.

 

 

 

It is estimated that about 50% of Vietnamese farmers are usually in contact with excess levels of chemicals and they also use erratic doses. This fact has impacted seriously on our environment and people’s health. Therefore, our agricultural programs always prioritise and promote the use of organic fertilizer and its positive effect.

Through training courses on cultivation and livestock techniques, the benefits of replacing chemical fertilizer and pesticide with organic fertilizer is highlighted to continue to raise the farmers’ awareness. Thien Chi has established 2 waste recycling plants in Lac Tanh and Dong Kho communes of Tanh Linh district and is now producing an organic compost fertilizer. This compost has been analysed and is recommended to local farmers due to its nutrient content and high quality.

 

 

Besides, Thien Chi’s agronomy teams also provide the training courses and organize field trips for local farmers to learn techniques how to make compost by themselves by using biological products from organic wastes at their farm.

Helping the poorest

helping1 With the help of our local Village Workers and local partners including People’s Committees, Women’s Union Farmer association, local Schools…, Thien Chi identifies families in need. Our Integrated Approach is implemented and assessments made by experienced staff . One or more of the following support services may be provided: 
 
Providing education scholarships. The costs associated with attending school include: uniforms, textbooks, notebooks and stationery, school fees & extra tuition fees which many families simply cannot afford. By providing Education Scholarships of 500,000VND (approx. USD25) per year for primary and secondary students and 1,000,000 VND (approx. US$50) for high school student to subsidize the costs, many families are eager to send their children to school. Thien Chi provides one scholarship per family per year with the provision that all school age children in the household are attending school.
 
On average, Thien Chi provided approx. 1,500 – 2,000 poor students with Education Scholarship
 
 
Organizing treatment for health problems If a family is helping2experiencing hardship due to health problems, assistance can be provided for diagnosis. Support for medical insurance, travel to HCMC for treatment, ongoing medication, the effect on family incomes etc. are all major issues. Thien Chi health staff consider when coordinating an action plan with local authorities and village workers to provide assistance to these needy families. In 2016, Thien Chi provided health support for a total of 91 families. Besides, we organized total 113 health trainings for 3,297 village people
 
Providing trahelping3ining and interest free loans for agriculture, or to start a small business. Interest free micro loans to commence a small business can be provided as a way to supplement family income. This program focuses on women, and if required, training in agricultural techniques will be provided to support the new venture.
At present (June 2017), Thien Chi is providing total 3,600 poor households with micro loans.
 
Mobilizing the community to help build better housing In partnership with the community and Local Authorities, Thien Chi can assist those families experiencing extreme hardship with the provision of suitable and adequate housing. In 2016, Thien Chi provided support to build a total of 51 houses.

Micro-credit

Micro loans: This major and growing micro credit program is supporting the extremely poor households (monthly income of approximately USD12.50/person). Micro credit (individual loans USD40 to USD200) is in this case part of a global approach which includes training, support for health and education, housing, depending on the needs of each household and on the willingness of the people concerned and the community to join their efforts. The program generally focuses on women and children and looks at ways of supplementing any existing family income. eg: raising chickens, ducks or pigs, growing rice or dragon fruit, etc. These projects will often be implemented at their homes to enable them to continue their family responsibilities with children, elderly relatives, etc. Assistance is provided to ensure the women have the training required for a successful project including advice on fertilizers, watering requirements, vaccination schedules, feed and additives etc. Visits are be made to these households by Thien Chi staff on a regular basis to assess progress and ensure a positive outcome. Loans are initially with no interest, and repaid either monthly (for instance for petty trade) or after 4-6 months, depending on the nature of the investment. The recovery rate is over 99% and the impact on family income excellent: + 25%/year on average.

Thien Chi currently works with 3,600 such households (July 2017). Every month 30-40 households “graduate” out of poverty and are replaced by other poor households.

Microcredit – family profiles

 

Tanh Linh:  Micro Loan  3rd cycle – 3.8M VND (approx USD190)  The husband has a  lung disease and cannot perform any heavy work. His wife is now pregnant, and also unwell, but works some hours in the local cashew nut factory. She earns approx 60,000VND per day (USD3.00) when she works. They have a son in year 8, and Thien Chi has been supporting the family with an education scholarship for 3 years to ensure he continues at school. The husband is using the micro loan to raise chickens.  As he has no prior experience, Thien Chi has provided him with training to acquire the technique and skills to raise healthy chickens.  They are now 3 months old and will be ready for sale in another month.

 

 

Ham Thuan Nam:  Micro Loan:  1st cycle – 1M VND (approx USD50)
This wife has inoperable liver cancer and her husband has a stroke which has left him with some brain damage and unable to work.  They have sold their dragon fruit farm to raise money to pay for her expensive medication  – 1M VND  for a 3 month supply (approx USD50).  Although they remain living in their house,  the new owner has told them they need to move within the next year as he wishes to plant more dragon fruit trees.  They have 2 unmarried sons, 32 and 29 years old.  The older son has a mental disability and is only able to work when he is well.  The younger son works away from home and doesn’t want to get married as he worries who will look after his parents.  The micro loan from Thien Chi has  allowed the wife to purchase 100 ducks.  Unfortunately, 40 of these contracted a disease and died, and a further 30 have been sold to purchase more medication. She is currently raising the 30 ducks and selling eggs to supplement their income.  The husband makes rice wine at home generating income of approx 30,000VND (USD1.50) per day. The rice waste from his wine making is used to feed the ducks which makes them grow quickly.  They worry what they will do next year when they have to move from the house, but the wife explains: She and her husband are happy.  He looks after her, and she looks after him.