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In Vietnam, initiative inspires women to convert garbage to money

In Vietnam, initiative inspires women to convert garbage to money

Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 18:09 GMT+7
In Vietnam, initiative inspires women to convert garbage to money
In Tran Van Thoi District, Ca Mau Province, southern Vietnam, female members of the local women's association would bring plastic waste to sell at their monthly meetings. Photo: Thanh Huyen / Tuoi Tre

A women-led initiative in Vietnam that collects and converts rubbish into money to aid those in need has yielded numerous beneficial effects over the last three years.

On June 9, Nguyen Thuy Linh, chairwoman of the Tran Van Thoi District Women's Association in Ca Mau Province, southern Vietnam stated that the campaign has helped provide 863 presents, including cash and gifts, to adults in tough conditions as well as needy children.

Meaningful initiative

Nguyen Cam Me, a resident of Tham Troi B Hamlet in Khanh Binh Dong Commune, Tran Van Thoi District, said that before the program, rubbish was frequently discarded or burned.

People would now bring the rubbish with them to the women's association meetings.

During the gatherings, plastic garbage will be sorted and recycled by skilled women into usable goods such as piggy banks, handbags, and vases.

In terms of unrecyclable waste, they sell it to raise funds to assist needy women in starting their own businesses.

"I've found the model good and meaningful," stated Me.

"Although the money I can contribute is small, the initiative helps raise awareness among women about sorting waste and protecting the environment for future generations."

Pham Hong Han, head of the Women's Association Chapter of Tham Troi B Hamlet, said that the association's members have actively supported the movement by taking specific actions and continuing the activities on a daily basis.

"We gather rubbish to sell; while each family can contribute a modest amount of money, we can accumulate a large sum due to the contributions of many households," Han stated.

"When a member has saved a sufficient quantity of money, we assist them in obtaining cash for commercial purposes.

"This method is so effective that it has received support from many members."

A piggy bank built from recyclable plastic trash will be sold to help underprivileged members. Photo by Thanh Huyen / Tuoi Tre

A piggy bank built from recyclable plastic trash will be sold to help underprivileged members. Photo: Thanh Huyen / Tuoi Tre

Rising over poverty thanks to plastic garbage

Pham Ngoc An, a resident of Tham Troi B Hamlet, was overjoyed to share that she had been pulled out of poverty owing to the campaign to recycle plastic garbage.

"I used to be categorized as a poor household without farmland, which caused my family to face several challenges," An recounted.

"As a result of the plastic trash recycling movement, I was granted a VND5 million [US$196] preferential loan.

"I purchased a pig to raise and opened a little grocery store in my home.

"Two years later, my family's life has improved, and we no longer live in poverty."

In the same situation, Lam Hang Ni, a native of Khanh Binh Commune, began producing turmeric starch.

She initially built the equipment for manufacturing tumeric starch on her own, but its efficiency was limited, with only about 10kg produced. 

"Since the day of getting the soft loan support of VND35 million [$1,375], which stems from selling plastic waste, I have bought machines and equipment that help me expand my production," Ni said. 

"I currently sell several hundred kilograms of turmeric starch every year.

"Despite the limited capital, early assistance would provide many people with an opportunity to thrive."

Ni and An are only two of those receiving over 800 financial and gift assistance grants for disadvantaged women provided by the Tran Van Thoi District Women's Association over the last three years as part of the initiative to turn waste into finances.

"Since we have announced the detailed soft loan supports and the borrowers' applications have been approved by every member in the association, the fund has been running very effectively," chairwoman Linh said.

"In addition to supporting struggling women, our goal is also to raise awareness among them and the community about sorting out plastic waste to reduce wastes and make the environment cleaner."

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Thanh Huyen - Kim Thoa / Tuoi Tre News

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