Would you talk about the alcoholism of your husband to a veterinary? Of course not, and this is why Mekong Plus believes so strongly in a global approach, with multidisciplinary teams. And before we look at the farm, we care about the people! Before we act: listen with a lot of patience. This is the key for efficient action, based on the participation of all.
N. did not want to talk about it, and still today she insists not to be photographed, her name should not to be mentioned. She was married at 19, she has 2 children of 19 and 17. The 12 first years were fine. Then her husband’s brother died and he lost his mind. He started drinking, every day, often he would beat wife and children, till the middle of the night. The neighbors did not dare to intervene, so she would sleep in the pig stall with the children. The children dropped from school, and the family barely survived with 14 €/month! «This is my entire fault, says N., I could not make him stop drinking! » Mekong Plus has a plan with her: a microcredit to raise more pigs. But this scheme will need more than a veterinary to succeed.
The family of Ms.Hai has only 3000 m2 of land and basically lives from daily labor on others’ farms. Dang, her husband, was drinking, probably out of despair as there was no hope in sight. Hai met with Phú, member of Mekong Plus, and she learned how to make delicious pancakes. She sells them on the market. Phú also gave her a microcredit of 40 €. Hai’s pancakes became a success at the market. Dang was very happy and felt sorry for his wife who was working so hard. Little by little he started helping her, with an old bicycle he did deliveries at various places. Many were happy in the village, as Dang was not drinking anymore! Encouraged by their success, Hai and Dang also raised pigs, and rented more land to grow paddy.
Their family is fine today. The children are at school, their income has increased substantially, and no more damages caused by the alcohol!
Quyên, Trinh et Bernard KERVYN, 6th April /2010