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.