Her economic situation was good enough until her two out of three sons went into universities, and the parent had not earned enough to finance their needs. As a bad penny always turns up, they both had serious health problem and needed hospital treatment, but they have no more income and savings. So they decided to first sell their lands, valuable properties and then borrow money from the loan sharks. It was that time she joined Dariu’s microfinance program and got the first loan of US$265 to invest in chicken raising. After six months, she earned a profit of US$110. She continued to invest her profit and another loan in chicken, and earned more than US$350 of profit in the same year. “My last son was granted by Dariu a bicycle in -August 2016. We just rented three thousand square meters of land to -cultivate guava and beans. My husband just got a job as a driver.I am so excited with the progress,” boasted Nien.
Although the couple tried a number of jobs, they still faced numerous difficulties and uncertainties. In 2014, they were referred to a training program organized by the local government on guiding the farmers to grow mushrooms. After the training program, she was referred to Dariu’s microfinance -program and got the first loan to invest in 4,000 mushroom grain spawns in 2014. The business grew well and she could earn on average US$7 each day. With more loans from Dariu, her business has increased four times to 16,000 mushrooms grain spawns. She now earns around US$30 per day from mushrooms. “The good thing is I have a daily -income while I can pay the loan on weekly basis. It helps us with first loans and builds up savings gradually,” said Thuy.
With a family of five members, including three children at school, the couple could not earn enough for their food and education. They were unable to get loans from any bank at the time in 2010. Then she joined Dariu’s microfinance program in the same year. With US$88, she rented a hectare of land and invested in growing corn. After four and a half months, she earned US$220. She gradually grew her farm into 10 hectares of corns, vegetables nowadays. “With each -hectare we can earn US$3,000-$3,500, and the profit per hectare is around US$850 per year,” said Tam. “I also utilize corn leaves, corns, and vegetables as food for four cows, chickens, and pigs,” she added. After seven years with Dariu, they could send all the kids to school, building a new house for US$15,000 and have an annual profit of at least US$8,000 per year.
Suong tried several kinds of jobs but her family’s incomes remained unstable. She also produced incense by hand, but on the small scale and that was not enough. One day, when she -visited a friend who produced incense by machine, she realized that the quality and productivity was absolutely much better than hers. While she was looking for capital, she was recommended to join a group of Dariu’s microfinance program in 2014. She invested her loan and savings into two incense-making machines. By the end of 2016, she already had 4 machines, creating jobs for the whole family of 5 members and hiring three more. “Thanks to the profit we made, we can build a new house and ready for expansion of our business,” SUONG said. She earned a total income of US$30,000 and profit of US$3,200 in 2016.
Nguyet Nguyuen's day starts at 3:00 am. She prepares all the materials for the production of rice noddles. Her husband delivers the rice noddles to the local shops by motorbike and gets back home at 7:00. She starts the noodle production, while feeding 15 pigs at the same time. The couple spends 1.5 hours for production and drying the raw noodles from 10:00 to 13:00. They often feed the pigs before lunch. In the afternoon, they cut the noodles with a cutting machine and finaly pack them. They feed the pigs, clean the pigsty and then have dinner. They only finish their work at 9:00pm, after cleaning all the tools. Each day, they produce 100kg of rice noodles, and make a profit of US $15. By using leftovers from rice noodle production instead of buying factory food for the pigs, they save 30% of the costs. Every year, they sell 45-60 pigs and earn a profit of around US $2,000. Recently, she has got a loan of US $1,500 to invest in new machines for nooble production and purchasing matetials. having been a very poor family to start with, the family's profit now reaches around $7,000 per annum. "Without your loan (from The Dariu Foundation), we could never think of doing our own business, not to mention making any profit", said Nguyet. "Now I can save my 'real' money and think of our business expansion".
Mrs Huynh learned how to weave sedge mats when she was 12 years old from her mother who, now 81 years old , weaved mats since she was 12 years old as well. Her mother is still working with her in the mat workshop. With her 40 years of experience, she knows how to make high quality mats. However, the sedge farmers narrow the areas of sedfe plantation, which increases the raw material costs, thus making the business less profitable. Sometimes she found the materials at a good price but could not afford to buy it at wholesale. Instead she had to buy for one-week production only. Huynh was given her first loan of US $300 by The Dariu Foundation in 2013, and invested all in sedge purchase. She started the expansion of her business in early 2014, employing 5 female neighbors part-time. Her loan was increased to US $1,500 in 2015. With more materials, she now employs 6 full-time workers and more than 10 part-time ones. Each day her workshops can produce 30 pairs of mats, and she earns a profit of US $15. In addition, she grow mushrooms to improve her income. She invested US $300 in mushroom purchase, gabs and building the incubation room. That investment allows her to collect mushrooms during 18 months, and each day she can sell mushrooms for US $5.0. That helps her to preserve her family's traditional sedge mat weaving business and generating jobs for other group members. Huynh now makes a profit if US7,000 annually. "My family just built a new house thanks to the savings from the mat and mushroom business," she says. "My daughters started their own mat weaving workshops after their marriage. I am very proud of this tradition."
In 2004, she started joining TDF's microfinance program, getting her first loan with $25, and togeter with family's saving of $100 invested in raising chicken and earned around $400 that year. By 2011, she took a loan of $1,000 to invest in expanding her business, by raising other animal - goats. In order to get food for the goats and chicken, she also invested in vegetable and pepper cultivation, which enabled the family to earn $2,500 a year by then. Last year, her family made record income of $4,200. of which profitis $2,200. What impacts most to her family is her children's education. Thanks to the profit she made from income generating activities, she could be able to afford her children's education, and one of her child awarded with university degree.