alleviating poverty

For two years, the Hanoi International Women’s Club (HIWC) has been providing financial support to the social microfinance activities undertaken by Entrepreneurs du Monde among the ethnic minorities in the mountains of the north as part of its programme, Anh Chi Em (ACE).


On 20 and 21 May, a delegation from HIWC visited the field to meet the team and the micro-entrepreneurs supported and to see the progress made.

HIWCMeeting with happy and courageous women

The beneficiaries of the programme ACE are mostly women whose small agricultural activities have progressed thanks to the provision of one or several loans and training. As their incomes increase, they are able to save, to purchase health insurance and, importantly, to send their children to school.

“All these women are very impressive”, said Alexia Berta, member of the delegation. “The two credit officers we met are very courageous and committed ladies: they carry out this demanding job in addition to all their other responsibilities (farming, households…) which is impressive.”

A sense of community and responsibility

The members of the delegation also attended a training session on the topic of fiscal management. Sixteen women were present, as well as the local ACE loan officer and the village head.

Jessica Haug was struck by the fun side of the training: “Though we didn’t understand the language, the ladies were clearly enjoying themselves and we could see how spending this time together gives them a sense of community and responsibility. The support, education and training the beneficiaries receive in addition to the financing are valuable, and from our perspective, what makes Anh Chi Em special.”

The field visit by the members of the HIWC was thus very positive, as Alexia Berta highlighted: “On behalf of the Hanoi International Women’s Club, I would like to convey our thanks to Anh Chi Em for the wonderful work they are doing with the minority communities and for allowing us to be involved with this project. Our funds could not have been used in a better way. The project is incredibly inspiring and we are happy to see the positive impact it has on the lives of the beneficiaries. We have had a very enriching visit and would encourage others to throw their support behind such microfinancing projects as they are the key to empowering minorities, women and other marginalised groups into self sufficiency and out of extreme poverty.”














For Anh Chi Em’s to be able to fulfil its social mission the courses offered to the partners of the programme in Vietnam are most important. Thu, a trainer and social worker likes interacting with people and every day she puts a lot of effort into her job, passing on simple messages that improve the living conditions of the poorest families. She is twenty three years old, and has spent most of her life in Bung Lao a small village surrounded by limestone peaks similar to those of HalongBay. Thu belongs to the Thai ethnic minority and lives in the area where the programme operates; she is therefore very aware of the difficulties faced by the local population. The main courses she runs are directed at women and cover social issues as well as providing loan disbursements, repayment sessions or at the partners request training courses on the basic rules of hygiene, nutrition, maternal and infant health or even gender equality.









Some days she is up and on the road by 7 a.m. to reach far-off villages. In the Dien Bien mountains, come rain or shine Thu spends between one and three hours on her motor-bike riding through rice fields and villages in the company of other trainers or loan officers. In this way she gets together with all the people who take part in her interactive training sessions through team games where everybody laughs nearly all the time. She often needs to address certain taboos with ingenuity and humour, for instance this is often the case when she has to bring up the subject of condom use. It’s true that her youth gives her a certain amount of courage but at the same time it can be difficult when she is in front of an audience of women with experience of family matters. She groups together all the people who should be following these courses, she assesses the training needs of the beneficiaries and helps improve the communication and training aids (pictures, illustrations, plastic fruit).uns are directed at women and cover social issues as well as providing loan disbursements, repayment sessions or at the partners request training courses on the basic rules of hygiene, nutrition, maternal and infant health or even gender equality.

On top of these training courses, Thu implements innovative social projects such as organising sessions of sorting and selling waste with the hope of building a savings fund with the money collected. It is also an opportunity to promote a more environmentally friendly management of household waste and basic hygiene rules.

The various responsibilities provide Thu with ever changing working days. Some days can be very trying but her colleagues can testify to her energy and her character during evenings that sometimes turn into a lively karaoke sessions.

Press Release AFD/EdM in Vietnam

October 25th, 2012 | Posted by admin in 02. NEWS - (0 Comments)



The French NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have signed a three-year agreement to promote an inclusive, sustainable and replicable microfinance for the most vulnerable. According to this agreement, AFD will bring for the next three years (2012-2014) a grant of EUR 305,000 to Anh Chi Em, the microfinance programme implemented by Entrepreneurs du Monde in Dien Bien Province. Anh Chi Em supports the most deprived households, to help them improve their conditions of living thanks to a combination of loans, savings products and training services.

The agreement covers six countries where Entrepreneurs du Monde has been providing assistance, in West Africa (Benin, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso), and in Asia (Philipins andVietnam). Entrepreneurs du Monde implements, directly or in partnership with local entities, microfinance programmes aiming at providing access for the poorest and the most vulnerable people, to not only financial services (loans and savings), but also trainings, to make them improve their conditions of living based on economic activities.

InVietnam, the programme « Anh Chi Em »  has been launched by Entrepreneurs du Monde in2007, inDien Bien province, North-West of Vietnam. Recipients are very poor households, often from ethnic minorities, who get subsistence from small-scale agricultural activities in this remote and mountainous region of the country.

The services offered byAnh Chi Em have been continuously tailored to the needs of the Vietnamese population: loans provided byAnh Chi Emhave different amounts and duration to adapt to the economic cycles of the activities; trainers and social workers ensure an active support to clients. As encountered in all programmes backed by Entrepreneurs du Monde,Anh Chi Empromotes some innovative tools, enabling a reliable management of the social results of its funding. Entrepreneurs du Monde has been working closely with the local authorities (People’s Committee, Women’sUnion), which take part in Steering Committees of the Project, and can assistAnh Chi Emwhen it turns out to be necessary.

Anh Chi Em has already 3000 clients : thanks to the agreement signed with AFD, Anh Chi Em will be able to develop its activities and to target 7000 clients, and subsequently strengthen its financial sustainability and consolidate its status inVietnam. The agreement also creates the opportunity to share experiences with other organizations supported by Entrepreneurs du Monde all around the world.

Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is the main entity for ODA delivery on behalf of the French Government. It was established in Vietnam in 1994. Since 2008, AFD has provided EUR 2 million grants to around 10 French NGO working in Vietnam.


Hanoi International Women’s Club (HIWC) held its 20th Charity Bazaar 2011 on Sunday November 27th from 10 am – 3:30 pm, at UNIS, in Ciputra.

The Bazaar had: Country Tables, Charity Tables and Commercial Tables. All selling wonderful food & crafts that all visitors had a wonderful day. Visitors also had the possibility of enjoying the cuisines of more than 30 different countries.

The Charity Bazaar is the largest and most colorful fundraising event of the year. This truly international bazaar is the place to look for diverse handicrafts from all over the world that are ideal as presents for the coming holidays. Additionally local vendors provide a variety of products often at discounted prices.

For the first time, AnhChiEm program take part in HIWC 20th annual festival charity bazaar. This is the best occasion to present products of Chi Em’s beneficiaries to international and local organizations, and a lot of visitors. AnhChiem has organized following actities at the Bazaar:

1.  Present and sell Dien Bien’s handicraft products made by AnhChiEm’s beneficaries: visitors are very interested in products made of bamboo, natural cotton. Most of the products were sold off very quickly, however some products in grey and red color is not preferred by foreign visitors. The ultility of the products is also the main criteria that foreign visitors often consider before the purchase.

2.   Traditional dancing of ethnic minority in Dien Bien province: many visitors joined with great fun.

3.   Introduction about EDM and AnhChiEm Program’s objectives and activities in Dien Bien province: some visitors are interested in our work in Dien Bien and get the brochures, flyers for further reference.

network 19

Referred to lesson learn from NCRC program in India, and our commitment with the EDM in the regional seminar, we plan to provide this service to our partners in October 2011. We expect to design our net-working service that fits main characteristics of our partners in poor mountaineous rural areas as follows:

1- Almost of our clients’ activities are small-scale cultivation and animal husbandry (e.g 3 pigs, 50 chickens, 1000m2 rice farm, …). Because of small scale and limited diversity of their products, it would be not useful for them to joint the net-working just to sell small volume of their products.

2- However, for farming activities, farmers regularly need to buy the inputs for their agro-activities and the local market does not always supply the good quality inputs. To promote the wider options for buyers, we intend to invite some aro-product suppliers, whole sellers, local authority (agro-sector) and our agro-technician to join the net-working so it will be more beneficial for both farmers and suppliers.

Based on these characteristics of our partners, we will create the net-working database with the categorised information about the producers, whole buyers & sellers of agro-inputs and products (physically in form of card book) that will be kept and updated by Credit Officer. Each member of the net-working will have one card with their contact information and brief description of their products/services.

We would lik to seek your valuable comment on how to develop this services in the mountaineous rural area in consideration of above charateristic

Many thanks in advance for your contributive comments/ ideas.

Anh Chi Em Program


As committed in the EDM regional seminar, we will provide this service to our partners. Firstly we need to set out the criteria to identify on the targeted families which have special difficulties so that we can focus our limited resources in highest prior families.

We would like very much to seek your comments/ ideas to help us to build the above set of criteria. Bellows are our draft criterias to identify the family with special difficulties:

1- being our current partners

2- serious sick (mental, physical)/ or accident happen on family member

3- in underfed situation

4- have malnourished children, or unable to send children to school

5- jobless (in more than 3 months)


Many thanks in advance for your contributive comments/ ideas.

Anh Chi Em Program