Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - Caritas in Đà Lạt Diocese (Lâm Đồng province,
southern Vietnam) launched a microcredit plan in 2010 to help the poor meet
their needs and break out of the one dollar poverty line. Most beneficiaries
belong to ethnic minorities, living in difficult conditions in small
communities without the necessary means to survive.
its inception two years ago, the initiative has helped more than 900 families "escape
poverty," an internal audit found. In order to reach its goal of growth and
development, the Catholic agency encouraged the establishment of volunteer
groups serving the poor and the vulnerable of society.
the beginning, participants were shy, suffering from an inferiority complex and
reticent to join fully the project," one Caritas member said. Now, attitudes
have changed and "greater participation" in the agency's activities has become
entails small loans to the poor, especially from ethnic minorities living in rural
areas or mountain regions, which can serve as seed money for small businesses, mutual
help and entrepreneurship.
'The poor can help each other out of poverty,' the project aims to help
children from poor families go to school, whilst preserving minorities'
Đà Lạt Christians, the Caritas project's success in sustainable development is
a source of pride.
Caritas volunteer told AsiaNews that
after initial difficulties, "step by step, I learnt watching the work of nuns
and other social workers."
God's help," he noted, it is possible to find the strength and courage to promote
all sorts of initiatives.
am just a catalyst," he added, "creating the conditions for others to benefit
from the microcredit project."