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06/02/2013 15:03:35 PM

I will always be a member of STU

(Views: 1927)

Ms. Lo Thi Chuyen is a Thai ethnic woman who was born into a poor, crowded family in Tuan Giao Town (Dien Bien Province). She started her own family early with a man from the same village when she was only 18 years old. The young couple led a hard – working living to be able to raise four children and give them proper schooling.

The family lived on several hundred square meters of fish pond and a small grocery shop. Many times when needed money for her children’s tuition fees or other family expenses, she had to come to money lenders and paid extremely high interest rate. Wanting to improve her businesses but with no money in hand, she felt “powerless”. Nonetheless, they successfully managed to send their four children to colleges.

  She found her opportunity at the end of 2011 when she heard about “Capacity building and sustainable poverty reduction project – STU”. After the orientation meeting to the project, she immediately discussed with her husband joining it. They appealed a loan of VND10 million with a purpose of expanding their current income-generating activities: buying more pigs and stock for grocery store. After 6 months, she was enabled to borrow another VND2 million as a supplementary loan to further invest in the fish breeding business.
After nearly one year, she has sold two litters of pigs and one litter of breeding fishes and made a profit of approximately VND12 million. They are about to harvest another litter of fishes.

Ms. Chuyen is trusted by other members. She was elected as the center chief. It was difficult to recruit new members at first because villagers were very reluctant to borrow. Thus, her center maintained with only 10-15 members for months. After seeing successes of STU members, others started to participate. It was also thanks to her enthusiasm and promotion, the membership increased quickly to 40 people. Center meetings also enable her to get closer to her co-members.

She eagerly said to us: “Becoming member of STU, we attend center meetings and some training workshops where I learned many new things. I am more confident. Now, I can speak before crowd without panicking”.

Microinsurance product is also her favorite. The Mutual Protection Association (M7MPA) managed by CFRC is meaningful to members and their family. In case of misfortune, members not only receive sympathy and care of STU officers and co-members but also get benefits. She has a very interesting point of view: “it is like an emotional string connecting members with each other. We are inter-connected like tree and creeper in the forest.”

Even though she has only one year of membership, what she and her family received have really changed their life.

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