- Green Growth
- Your Consultant
|VWS and VOH teamed up to host a competitive cycling race to mark the occasion of the World Environment Day|
David Duong, CEO of Vietnam Waste Solutions Co., Ltd. (VWS) established a community support fund in 2011 to help farmers earn a livelihood in a sustainable manner. After eight years, the fund has supported many poor families in Thu Thua district of the Mekong Delta province of Long An by providing interest-free loans, thereby giving them a chance to escape poverty. With improvements in living conditions, these families have helped other disadvantaged households to settle down and enhance their economic wellbeing.
Nguyen Quoc Cuong, head of My Thanh Co-operative in Thu Thua, said that he was a low-wage worker while his wife was working as medical staff for a primary school. The couple had struggled to raise two school-age children with their low salary. Therefore, he rented a land plot of 6,500 square metres to grow rice and vegetables. The David Duong Community Support Fund gave his family a loan worth VND10 million ($435) to invest in an irrigation system and seedings.
|VWS carries out a wide range of community-based activities to promote sustainability awareness|
With the fund, Cuong’s family grows three rice crops with the intercropping of cucumbers, calabazas, and tomatoes each year. He has also experimented growing melons indoor before planting in the field. In addition, Cuong participated in training courses on using pesticides and safe vegetable cultivation techniques organised by the local farmers’ association. By applying techniques from the training sessions, his family can grow bumper crops meeting food safety and hygiene standards. After harvesting, the family transports the produce to wholesale markets or ships directly to small supermarkets in Ho Chi Minh City in order to reduce intermediaries.
“We earn an annual income of VND100 million ($4,350) from the vegetable intercropping model,” Cuong said. “Thanks to these efforts, our family has recently received certificates of merit from the Thu Thua People’s Committee in good production farming and agricultural technical innovation. This motivates me and my family to expand the farming model and create more jobs for poor workers in the commune.”
|The David Duong Community Support Fund is put to good use|
He added that the capital from the David Duong Community Support Fund is very helpful for poor families. Using the capital wisely will help the poor to escape from poverty in a sustainable way. He currently hopes to access more loans to expand production and purchase vehicles in order to provide safe vegetables to consumers in Long An and Ho Chi Minh City.
Commenting on the vision of the fund, Duong said, “We are always accompanying and sharing with farmers to help them overcome difficulties in life. The fund aims to provide means of livelihood to the farmers. We feel so satisfied when more farmers can take advantage of the fund to escape poverty and afford education for their children. Therefore, our work becomes a more meaningful experience. We also give priority to young people who have the entrepreneurial spirit to start businesses by their own hands, strength, and knowledge.”
The company has carried out other community-centric activities in order to make change for the better. To mark the World Environment Day on June 5, VWS joined forces with the Voice of Ho Chi Minh City’s People (VOH) to organise a cycling race under the theme of environmental protection.
The 64-kilometre race started from VWS in Da Phuoc commune based in the city’s Binh Chanh district to the Green Environment Technology Park in Thu Thua district’s Tan Lap commune, with the total prize fund set at VND100 million ($4,350).
The event attracted both athletes and amateur members of local sports centres and clubs across the country, achieving extraordinary success. About 150 riders from 20 teams successfully reached the race finish in under one hour 40 minutes. Nguyen Hoang Sang, a member of Saigon Velo bicycle club in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 and competing in the 16-44 age category, was the first to reach the Green Technology Park to welcome applause.
According to Huynh Thi Lan Phuong, VWS’s deputy general director, the group in collaboration with the VOH organised the event to not only promote cycling among local residents, but also to encourage people to opt for bicycles as a means of transport to improve health. It also helps protect the environment and helps to ease current traffic conditions in Ho Chi Minh City.
Commenting on the quality of the race itself, Nguyen Quoc Tien, head of the referee board said, “This is the first time we organised a race on this route and we received support of cycling teams including many famous and professional racers, such as Nguyen Nam Cuc, Huynh Mai Duy, and Nguyen Hoang Sang.”
Speaking at the race finish, rider Cuc, a member of the Saigon Velo bicycle club, said, “The race was organised in a very professional manner. It is practical for both the community and for a green environment. I will share the race with more friends in the community with a view to making a small contribution towards a greener and cleaner environment.”
Phuong said that VWS will continue to work with the VOH to implement more practical and meaningful programmes in the future, as well as creating memorable races for cycling lovers.
“We held this race to encourage the community to protect the environment,” Phuong added. “It also underscores one of VWS’s top criteria when operating in Vietnam, which is accompanying the community towards sustainable development.”