The Community Development Fund Helps Secure Retirement

Posted on June 6, 2017

Action on Poverty Community Development Fund

A lifetime of farming

Thi and her husband have been rice farmers in Vietnam's Mekong Delta their entire lives. Now, after 64 years and 13 children, they are tired and sore. Farming is just too tough for them to continue.

Until now, their meagre incomes were just enough to feed themselves. How would they support themselves without their income from farming?

Old dreams meet the Community Development Fund

The couple's house in Nga Nam District, Soc Trang Province is located right next to a primary school. Thi loves children and had long dreamed of opening up a shop to sell meals and treats to the students. But she wasn’t able to save any money to open the shop. All her money was spent on her family’s basic needs – there was never enough left over to save.

Fearful of taking on too much debt, the Community Development Fund offered Thi an alternative to get her shop started. She took a small loan of AUD $200, repayable over 12 months with just 1% interest.

I was afraid to take a big loan because I thought I wouldn’t be able to repay it. Taking this small loan means I can repay it quickly,” said Thi.

Learn exactly how our Community Development Fund works here >

With financial and business training provided by the Fund, and her loan in hand, Thi was ready to open her shop. She invested in inventory and began selling rice porridge and other goods to the children who attend the school next to her house.

A brighter golden years

Today, Thi is feeling content and secure. With her big smile and even bigger laugh, it's easy to see why the children love coming to her shop.

We don’t live wastefully, but we’re not scrounging to get by anymore. Now that we have a reliable income, I feel happier and more settled. We feel secure,” she said.

With their extra income, Thi plans to repay her loan, expand her business, and fix up her house. 

Like Thi and her husband, retirement can be a daunting prospect for many families who have depended on income from farming their whole lives. But with support from the Community Development Fund, Thi and her husband can look forward to their golden years, free from physical labour.

The Community Development Fund has already issued over 400 loans in Soc Trang province, but there are more families still in need.

Support our Community Development Fund. Transform the lives of a family in Vietnam.