Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Preferential microfinance loans have helped improve the lives of more than 140,000 poor and low income women and their families over the last 25 years.
The women from 12 northern and north-central provinces received preferential loans from the Tình Thương One Member Limited Liability Microfinance Institution (TYM) set up by the Việt Nam Women’s Union.
The loans helped the women start businesses and increase incomes, improving their status within the family and society as large, TYM general director Dương Thị Ngọc Linh said on Friday.
Speaking at a function held to celebrate the institution’s 25th anniversary, Linh said TYM originated from the Tình Thương Fund launched by the Việt Nam Women’s Union in 1992 to join the Government’s hunger elimination and poverty reduction programme while improving women’s status within and outside their families.
“To build on its positive impact, the project was continued and formalized into a professional credit institution,” she said.
Over the last 25 years, TYM has given more than 1.3 million loans worth VNĐ10.6 trillion (US$495 million). to more than 141,000 clients. It has outstanding loans of VNĐ1 trillion ($48 million) at present.
TYM’s clients are typically women from poor, near-poor and low-income households, and micro-enterprises. TYM also pays special attention to supporting ethnic minority women, and those who are living with disabilities or those affected by HIV/AIDS.
Lê Thị Dạn, of Đức Hiệp Commune in the northern province of Hưng Yên said that she first borrowed VNĐ1 million from TYM in 2003 to buy 100 ducks.
“I earned VNĐ3 million after raising and selling the ducks and I continued to borrow from TYM,” Dạn said, adding that she was borrowing VNĐ50million now to breed poultry and grow orange, longan and grapefruit.
“The farming helps generate about VNĐ50-80 million yearly to my family,” she said.
Lê Anh of Cửa Lò District in the central province of Nghệ An said that it was very difficult for her to get loans, even from Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies, because her family had nothing to mortage.
In 2011, Lê Anh got a loan of VNĐ5 million from TYM to buy four pigs. She was able to invest the funds well and expand her farming. She now plans to open a food stall and seafood restaurant.
Anh said that TYM allowed them to borrow money and return part of the loan every week. Moreover, people could send small sums of money, even VNĐ10,000, to their saving accounts at TYM any time, and this helped form the habit of saving, she said.
Dạn and Lê Anh also said that with improved family incomes, they were more positive and confident about expanding production and joining other social organisations like local People’s Council, Women’s Association or Red Cross.
Nguyễn Thái Hà, chairman of the Mỏ Chè Commune People’s Committee in Thái Nguyên Province, said that once local women began getting TYM’s loans, they did not have to leave their hometowns to seek jobs elsewhere, and had more time to take care of their families and join social activities.
Nguyễn Thị Hà, chairwoman of the Nam Định Women’s Association, said lending to women was an effective way to empower them and ensure social security in the local community.
In 2011, Dương Thị Tuyết, a TYM member from the northern province of Nam Định, was one of six micro-entrepreneurs honoured internationally with the Global Micro-Entrepreneur Award for her copper molding business. — VNS