All posts by TC Moderator

Nguyen Thi Bay – Tan Thanh – Ham Thuan Nam

Nguyen Thi Bay is 51 years old. She is a single mother! Her’s family includes 4 children and 1 grandson. After divorcing with the husband, her eldest daughter and her son came back Bay’s house for living. Her second daughter is the student of a college in HCMC. The third daughter is attending high school at grade 10. The last-born son is attending primary school at grade 2 and the grandchild is in kindergarten.

All burden of the family put on Bay’s shoulder. But she has a medical condition with variety of diseases of sinusitis, heart, vestibular disorders and kidney stones and requires daily medication. To have money to pay schooling, her family had to borrow 5,000,000vnd ($US227) from outside with high interest rate of 5%, and more than 30,000,000vnd ($US 1,363) from student-loan resource by government.

This family commenced in the Thien Chi’s micro loan in September 2014 when they were only earning a total of 380.000vnd (US$17) per person per month. Despite struggling with diseases, Bay always tries her best to work hard. Her biggest expectation is to be able to afford let her children attending school.

A special reason we support for Bay’s family is her spirit of escaping poverty and always hardworking. Besides that, Bay is very interested in improving her knowledge through taking part in our trainings enthusiastically. Until now we offered her with the trainings on techniques to take care for dragon trees and health trainings.

At the first time, Thien Chi issued a micro loan of 1,000,000vnd (US$46) per cycle (each 5 months) to this family to purchase fertilizer to take care for their 135 dragon trees. Thien Chi has also provided education scholarship of 1,000,000vnd ($US 45) annually to assist in keeping the children in school.

After 5 cycles (2.5 years), the family is now earning 572,000vnd (US$26) per person, per month. The amount of loan has increased to 3,000,000vnd ($US136). This loan is not only used for dragon trees but also used for Bay’s small business. With desire of earning more money to provide for her children’s schooling and repay the debt, Bay decided to use a part of loan to buy and sell vegetable in the front of the house. Besides earning from dragon trees, her family now has more income from small business with 100,000vnd per day ($US4.5).

In Jan. 2017, after the survey and deep discussion, Thien Chi decided to provide Bay’s family a swapped loan of 5,000,000vnd ($US 227) to help them decrease the amount of debt with high interest. This is a kind of special loan (the amount from US$ 227 to US$ 455) which is only provided for the special poor households who have the debt with very high interest and with positive factors such as: Hardworking, spirit of escaping poverty, schooling for children, repay loan on time, engagement by village workers and local authority…

Visiting Bay’s house in one recent day, she was glad to say that “My second daughter is about to graduate the college, I hope she will get a good job. My house has been fixed for better condition…Thank to Thien Chi’s support, my family’s financial situation has improved and we paid a part of debt. I will try my best to repay the loan regularly. My family still struggling but I am happy because my children continue attending schools”.

Mai Huu Tri – Micro loan

His wife (47 yrs) also has a medical condition of low blood pressure and requires daily medication.  As she cannot afford health insurance, this medication is expensive.  His wife often works casual 11 hour shifts at the local dragon fruit packing factory if work is available and if she is well enough.  With her medical condition, she becomes very tired and gets severe headaches. 

They have 2 children – one is attending school in grade 7, and the older son (18yrs) is now working.

Mai commenced in the Thien Chi microloan program in 2012.  At the time, the household was only earning 312,000 (USD 14.20) per person per month. 

Thien Chi has issued Microloans of 3Mvnd (USD 136) per cycle (each 5 months) to this family to purchase fertiliser for their dragon fruit trees.  Without this fertiliser, the trees would not provide the fruit for sale.  After 11 cycles (5 years) the family is now earning 667,000vnd (USD 30.10) per person, per month.  They have always managed to pay back the microloan each cycle and now have 300 dragon fruit trees (4 years old) which are now producing fruit.  Dragon fruit sells for between 10,000 – 15,000 vnd per kg, provided the trees are well fertilised and looked after.  Both Mai and his wife are doing a good job looking after the dragon fruit trees.

This family has also purchased a cow for 13M vnd (USD 590) with a loan from the local Women’s Union.  They still owe 12Mvnd but have been able to obtain a low interest of 200,00vnd (USD 9) per month.  A calf has just been born and they intend to breed the cows for a couple of years before selling calves to increase their income.

Thien Chi has also provided Education Scholarships of 500,000vnd (USD 22.70) annually to assist in keeping the children in school.  Assistance was also provided to install a latrine in the family home (500,000vnd). Despite the health issues of Mai and his wife, they both continue to work hard to provide a stable income for the family.

Nguyen The Quang – grade 2C supported with a pair of glasses

Nguyen The Quang who is studying at grade 2C, Duc Tai 1 primary school is born in a poor family without any cultivated land or rice field. His parent are working as daily labors just with a small salary.
After an assessment of family situation carried out by Thien Chi staff, Quang has been sent to Eye hospital at the end of March. With a favorite black pair of glasses which he selected by himself, Quang has no longer tried to squint to read book, he happily showed it to his younger brother. The smile always appears on his lips which is a great encouragement for us to continuously carry out this meaningful program.We visited Quang’s family – a small house with brick walls and a corrugated iron kitchen. After the preliminary eyesight screening in January organized by Thien Chi cooperated with the school and the selected checking, Quang was listed as students with eyesight problem (left eyesight: 5/10) and encouraged to be sent to HCM hospital for specialty examination. His father  was still hesitant with the thinking that “ Eyesight problem might be painful or not able to see anything. Quang is still watching TV and learning very normally, so I don’t pay much attention”. While his mother worried, but they can’t afford to buy a cheap pair of glasses for their son. 

Health & Hygiene for Community

In this program, Thiện Chí provides training on various health topics and assistance to improve the quality of life in local communities. Examples of successful initiatives include:


Malaria and dengue fever – Impregnation of mosquito nets together with community awareness programs on the causes of malaria and dengue fever have significantly reduced these diseases.

Worm infestation – De-worming tablets were issued to pupils and health centres and together with community awareness programs, worm infestation has now reduced from 90% to approx. 9%

Dental Hygiene – A program highlighting the correct tooth brushing procedure and the importance of dental hygiene is currently being delivered to students in 142 Primary Schools and Kindergartens throughout our communities. Thiện Chí has trained teachers in the implementation of this program.

Community training and awareness – Thiện Chí Health Team Staff deliver trhealth2aining according to the local need, but topics include:
• Women’s Health issues – breast cancer, cervical cancer, healthy pregnancies, birth control
• Lung Cancer – adverse effects of smoking 
• Cause and effects of diarrhoea and worm infestation
• Acute respiratory diseases and what to do in emergencies
• General health practices in the home.

Support for health diagnosis and treatment – Advice and assistance, both financial and practical is provided for those living in poverty and needing support.Read more .

Non Smoking Day: Each year on 31 May Thiện Chí celebrates International Non-smoking Day in conjunction with the community to raise awareness of smoking diseases and prevention. Some outstanding activities for this day are organized by Thien Chi such as: bike race, marathon, football match…read more

Support to build latrines, wells, clean water filtering systems – Community support to build latrines in Kindergartens, Primary Schools and extremely poor households in all districts has been well received, and continues when funding is available. Thiện Chí has been operating this program for over 7 years and now 25% of households now have a clean latrine. 50 poor households in Duc Linh will benefit from the clean water supply provided by Alum Water Processing Systems to be installed by May 2013.

To achieve successful results for the Health & Hygiene program, Thiện Chí always partners and closely cooperates with rural clinics, education and health authorities in the communities. Each year, activities for the Non Smoking Day are supported by Local Authorities who will often co-contribute to the implementation of initiatives which benefit the community.