Action on Poverty
Mr Nhat and Mrs Quy struggled to make a living off their land in Sung village, a mountainous area in Da Bac.
Their income was so meager that they couldn’t look after their aging parents or send their children to school.
Like many villagers, Mr Nhat was close to uprooting his life and moving to a big city to find work in hopes of providing a better future for his family.
About 90% of Vietnam’s poor live in rural communities and are subsistence farmers who earn a living from the land. Those without land of their own have little chance of finding other work.
But instead of splitting up their family, Mr Nhat and Mrs Quy decided to get involved with Action on Poverty’s (AOP) Community-based Tourism (CBT) project after learning about its success in other nearby villages.
Now Mr Nhat and Mrs Quy have opened a homestay and drastically improved their family’s quality of life. Best of all, other people in the village are finding ways of improving their livelihoods with the influx of tourists, such as by selling handicrafts or offering guided tours.
“Thanks to the CBT project, my family can introduce our culture and lifestyle to visitors,” Mr Nhat said.
“I never imagined serving international visitors one day.
“The income from tourism also helps me afford a higher quality of life for three generations of my family without me moving to the city.”
Mr Nhat and Mrs Quy’s success story is just one of many from villagers who have worked with AOP to lift themselves out of poverty.
In Vietnam, AOP focuses on helping communities, especially ethnic minorities and women, to develop good livelihoods, adapt to climate change, prevent mosquito-borne disease, and advocate for their own development needs.
AOP was the first Australian NGO registered with the Vietnamese Government and, over the last 30 years, has supported more than 250,000 people in 60 projects spanning 35 provinces.
The NGO works with poor and marginalised communities across Africa, Asia and the Pacific to break the cycle of entrenched poverty.
More information at: actiononpoverty.org