Ride with Us: Explore 10 Inspiring Community Projects in 10 Districts this Summer

In the heart of South Vietnam and Cambodia, Mekong Plus proudly commemorates an extraordinary 30-year journey dedicated to uplifting communities through dedicated development initiatives. Since its inception, Mekong Plus has been a beacon of hope and progress, tirelessly working towards improving the lives of vulnerable populations across the region. This summer marks a significant milestone as we embark on a unique bicycle tour, visiting “10 projects in 10 districts” of south Vietnam and Cambodia to showcase our impactful work and engage our friends and supporters worldwide.

 

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A closer look at the itineraries

Tour Dates and Locations

●     July 20 to July 24: Hau Giang Province – Vietnam

●     July 27 to July 29: Binh Thuan Province – Vietnam

●     July 30 & July 31: Ninh Thuan – Vietnam

●     August 16 to August 18: Svay Rieng – Cambodia

 

This bicycle tour not only celebrates Mekong Plus’s achievements but also reinforces our unwavering commitment to sustainable development. Each district visit offers a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the transformative impact of our projects in education, healthcare, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability. From bustling urban centres to remote rural villages, we continue to empower communities, foster resilience, and inspire positive change.

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A participant biking in the Mekong Delta

 

By engaging with local beneficiaries and showcasing success stories, Mekong Plus aims to mobilise support from global citizens who share their vision of a more equitable and prosperous future for all and you can join us in celebrating 30 years of impactful community development and in shaping a brighter tomorrow together.

Celebrating Impact and Inspiring Support

 

The bicycle tour serves as more than just a journey through picturesque landscapes; it is a powerful testament to Mekong Plus’ enduring commitment to sustainable development. Each stop along the tour offers a glimpse into the transformative impact of their projects, showcasing tangible improvements in education, healthcare, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability. From remote villages to bustling townships, Mekong Plus has left an indelible mark, empowering local communities to build brighter futures for themselves.

 

Meet the Beneficiaries

 

Stage 1: 20 July 2024 – Long Tri A – Hậu Giang province – Vietnam

Mrs. Nguyễn Thị Bé: Empowered Through Microcredit for Sustainable Livelihoods

 

Nguyễn Thị Bé’s story epitomises the transformative power of microcredit programs. Living in a remote area, her family struggled with limited economic opportunities. With support from the Ánh Dương Center, Nguyễn Thị Bé accessed microloans to invest in a vegetable garden and fish farming. These endeavours not only improved their nutritional intake but also increased their income significantly. From an initial income of 656,000 VND ($26) per person, their earnings rose to 971,000 VND ($38 ) per person in just 2 years, marking a tangible improvement in their quality of life and highlighting the profound impact of strategic financial support on rural livelihoods.

 

Our goal for donations:

 

  • 8,000,000 VND ($310) to further support Mrs. Bé and her family’s small agricultural projects
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Nguyễn Thị Bé in her vegetable garden

Stage 2: 21 July 2024 – Xà Phiền – Hậu Giang province – Vietnam

Thị Ánh Nguyệt: The family needs a little support the education of the children and for their small duck farming activities

 

Thị Ánh Nguyệt’s family faced considerable financial hardships exacerbated by health issues. The assistance provided by the Ánh Dương Center, including educational scholarships and funding for duck farming, played a crucial role in alleviating their financial burdens. Despite the challenges, Thị Ánh Nguyệt and her family were able to navigate these difficulties with dignity, emphasising the importance of community support in enabling educational pursuits and fostering resilience in vulnerable households.

 

 

Our goal for donations:

 

  • 4,500,000 VND ($170) for a scholarship for Nguyệt and 3,000,000 VND ($115) to help the family start a small duck farming business
Thi Anh Nguyet 21.07.24Huyen Long My
Thị Ánh Nguyệt and her family

Stage 3: 22 July 2024 – Vị Thủy – Hậu Giang province – Vietnam

Mr. Quach Van Thai: A little support is needed to protect Mr. Thai’s health

 

Quach Van Thai, residing in Vi Thuy Commune, Hau Giang Province, is a single man with no children. His life has been marked by hardship, solitude and frequent trips to the hospital due to his health which has deteriorated over the years. The community around him has been supportive, providing rice, soy sauce, sugar, and other necessities to help him manage his daily needs. In 2023, Anh Duong organised a donation campaign that raised over 10 million VND ($390) to help repair his house. However, due to his fragile health, frequent hospital visits and the associated costs of medical fees and medications impose a substantial financial burden on him, especially given his lack of financial resources. We want to help

 

 

Our goal for donations:

 

  • We want to raise 1,472,000 VND ($57) to support him for 12 months. This amount includes 972,000 VND ($38) for health insurance and 500,000 VND for necessities.
QUACH VAN THAI 22.07.24 Huyen Vi Thuy
Quach Van Thai in front of his home

Stage 4: 23 July 2024 – Long Mỹ burg – Hậu Giang province – Vietnam

Mr. Trần Văn Hòa: Rebuilding Hope and the Family’s House Through Community Support

 

Mr. Trần Văn Hòa’s family faces multiple challenges, including inadequate housing and health issues that threaten their well-being. Day after day, their small house is deteriorating and during the rainy season, the family has no safe shelter due to the leaking roof.

His wife’s illness is a significant burden, especially in the context of the family’s limited income. Monthly treatment further escalates the family’s expenses. The family’s wish is to receive assistance for his wife’s treatment and to improve living conditions through house repairs. This support will not only help alleviate financial burdens but also provide peace of mind and hope for the future.

 

 

Our goal for donations:

 

  • We plan to raise 18,000, 000 VND ($700) for Hoa’s family: 3,000,000 VND ($115) for his wife’s treatment and 15,000,000 VND ($585) to repair their house.
Tran Van Hoa 23.07.24 Huyen Long My
Mr. Trần Văn Hòa in front of his home

Stage 5: 24 July 2024 – Phụng Hiệp – Hậu Giang province – Vietnam

Trần Quốc Tiến: Nurturing Resilience and Educational Pursuits Amidst Adversity

 

Tiến is a 9th grader at Tay Do Secondary School. He has been battling frequent illnesses, like pneumonia, needing regular medication. His father, Mr. Hùng, suffers from severe health problems, including blood clotting disorders requiring frequent transfusions, rheumatoid arthritis, and nerve weakness.

Tiến’s mother has been away working for two months, leaving Mr. Hùng and Tiến to manage alone. Mr. Hùng spends over 1 million dong monthly on treatments, while their small coffee shop barely brings in 400,000 ($16) dong per person each month due to seasonal floods during the monsoon. Despite these challenges, Tiến is dedicated to his studies, hoping to lift his family out of poverty.

 

 

Our goal for donations:  

 

  • We’re aiming to raise 5,700,000 VND for this family: 3,000,000 ($115) for Mr. Hùng’s medical treatments and 2,700,000 VND ($105) for Tiến’s school expenses for the next school year

 

 

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Trần Quốc Tiến helping his parents washing the dishes

Stage 6: 27 July 2024 – Đức Linh – Bình Thuận province – Vietnam

Mrs. Lưu Thị Bích: A Family of 6 Having Hard Times Making Ends Meet

 

Ms. Bich’s family of six faces severe financial struggles. The eldest, 14, dropped out to help at home. Nam, the second child, is in 3rd grade but struggles with learning. Khoa, 5, hasn’t started kindergarten due to their recent premature baby, Hung, who was born at 1.4 kg, requiring borrowed funds for medical costs.

The family’s income is very low. Her husband earns 300,000 VND/day transporting rubber latex, but work has been scarce. During our visit in March 2024, we found they hadn’t had steady work for two months. They’re gradually repaying their loans despite these challenges.

We bought health insurance for the husband, but they still face significant difficulties. We aim to raise funds for their children’s education and nutrition to ease their burden.

 

 

Our goal for donations:

 

  • We want to raise 8,700,000 VND ($335) for this family: 2,500,000 VND ($96) for the children’s education and 6,200,000 VND ($239) for food and necessities.
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Mrs. Lưu Thị Bích and her children

Stage 7: 28 July 2024 – Tánh Linh – Bình Thuận province – Vietnam

Mrs. Thi Bich’s Family: A Proper School Desk Goes a Long Way for a Poor Family

 

Bich’s family of six is struggling. Her husband, the main breadwinner, has polyarthritis, causing severe knee pain when he works too hard. Bich suffers from elephantiasis, a result of tuberculosis, leaving her with weak lungs and difficulty breathing. She stays home, running a small grocery store for extra income. The family’s average income is just 730,000 VND ($29)/month. The high education costs for their four children, in grades 9, 7, 4, and 3, are a significant burden. The children live in complete poverty, with no proper desks for studying. They use a plastic table and other makeshift items, which impacts their learning.

 

Our goal for donations:

 

  • We’d like to raise 3,200,000 VND ($123) to buy two desks for the children, giving them a proper place to study.

 

Bichfamily 2
Thi Bich and her family

Stage 8: 29 July 2024 – Hàm Thuận Nam – Bình Thuận province – Vietnam

Mrs. Nguyen Thi Bich Lien: A Single Mom’s Dream of Raising Chickens

 

Ms. Lien’s family of three is facing challenging times. Her husband passed away nearly a year ago, leaving her to care for their son Binh and daughter Duong, who is in 4th grade. The family makes a living by fishing, selling dried fish, and making fish cakes. Binh goes to sea to earn income, but his work is irregular, earning 200,000 ($8) to 300,000 VND ($12) per day for only 15-20 days a month. Stormy weather keeps him home. Ms. Lien sells fish cakes, making 100,000 ($4) to 150,000 VND ($6) per day, but only for about 10 days each month.

The family recently built a new house with the help of local government and charitable organisations. Now, they need more support to improve their livelihood. Ms. Lien wants to build a chicken coop and raise chickens to increase their income and ensure her children can continue their education.

 

Our goal for donations:

  • We aim to raise 7,000,000 VND ($270) to help Ms. Lien build a chicken coop and buy 100 chickens.
Hinh Chi Lien
Nguyen Thi Bich Lien selling crab

Stage 9: 30 July 2024 – Ninh Sơn – Ninh Thuận province – Vietnam

Mrs. Đặng Thị Tuyết and her daughter Cam Tu: Life is Hard, but Cam Tu is Determined to Become a Teacher

 

Cam Tu, a 17-year-old high school student, has faced many hardships. She and her sister live with their mother, Mrs. Tuyet, while their youngest brother lives with their father. The family relies on selling food, earning around 80,000 VND ($3.40) per day. In March 2024, Mrs. Tuyet joined Mekong Plus’s microcredit program, receiving a 2,000,000 VND ($85) loan to invest in her business. Her eldest daughter recently moved to Japan for study and work, funded by a loan of over 93,000,000 VND ($3,940), which she is working to repay. However, Mrs. Tuyet was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer and is now bedridden, unable to work. This has left the family in a dire situation. Mrs. Tuyet’s biggest concern is Cam Tu, who will enter 12th grade next year. Cam Tu dreams of becoming a teacher but risks dropping out without financial support.

 

Our goal for donations:

  • We aim to raise funds to provide Cam Tu with a monthly scholarship of 300,000 VND ($12) to help her complete her final year of high school.
Cam Tu taking care of her mother Mrs. Tuyet
Đặng Thị Tuyết and her daughter Cam Tu

Stage 10: 31 July 2024 – Ninh Phước – Ninh Thuận province – Vietnam

Mrs. Tu Thị Khao: Cultivating Resilience and Sustainable Growth in Ninh Phước District

 

Mrs. Từ Thị Khao became the primary breadwinner after her husband’s accident left him unable to work. The family’s modest income came from selling vegetables at the local market, earning only 620,000 VND ($25) per person per month. In March 2019, Mrs. Khao joined Mekong Plus’s microcredit program and received her first loan of 3,000,000 VND ($117). By early 2023, she participated in a waste transformation closed-loop farming model, receiving 50 chicks, 1 kg of fish, and tools to create a pool. This model uses duckweeds and leftover vegetables to feed chickens and fish, with chicken dung serving as fish feed. This sustainable system has helped her earn an additional 490,000 VND ($19) per month from selling fish.

Despite these improvements, it’s still not enough for her family, which includes her husband, a child with cerebral palsy, and four school-aged children.

 

Our goal for donations:

  • We’re hoping to raise 6,800,000 VND ($270) to provide Mrs. Khao with a sugarcane juice grinder, so she can start a small juice selling business which will help her earn additional income to support the family.
Mrs. Tu Thi Khao feeding the chickens
Mrs. Tu Thị Khao feeding her chickens

Stage 11: 16 August 2024 – Rumdoul – Svay Rieng province – Cambodia

Rina: Education as a Pathway Out of Poverty

 

Rina, a young girl from Phras Angkeo a small village in Svay Rieng province,Cambodia lives with her single mother, Navy, and her 6-year-old sister, Chenda. Rina’s father left the family, leaving Navy, 42, to support both daughters through her factory job and a small 0.2-hectare paddy rice field. The family survives on about $21 per person per month which isn’t enough to cover all their expenses, especially education. Rina, in grade 9 at Samrong High School, 6 km from home, faces higher costs for secondary education, including extra classes and materials. Her younger sister, in grade 1, currently has lower educational costs, but future expenses will rise.

 

Our goal for donations:

  • We aim to raise some additional support with the amount of $12 per month during 9 months so we can support Rina and her younger sister for the next school year.
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Rina is doing her homework

Stage 12: 18 August 2024 – Rumdoul – Svay Rieng province – Cambodia

Mrs. Chreb: Her 3 Daughters Must Continue their Education

 

Mrs. Chreb, 44, cares for her three daughters alone while her husband works in construction in Phnom Penh. Living in a small village, they survive on about $20 per person per month. Their oldest daughter is 11 and in grade 4, the second daughter is 7 and in grade 2, and the youngest is 4 years old. Their income mostly comes from the husband, while Mrs. Chreb farms and raises chickens and ducks. They spend around $500 per year on medical treatment for their sick eldest daughter, draining their income. In 2023, we provided them with a microloan for paddy rice production, boosting their yield and reducing fertiliser loan interest. They now aim to expand this loan to increase their income, fund their daughter’s hospital treatment in Phnom Penh, and support their children’s education.

 

 

Our goal for donations:

  • We hope to be able to receive enough donations so we can help the family with a scholarship of $12 per month during 9 months for the next school year.
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Mrs. Chreb and her children

How to Join our “10 Projects in 10 Districts” Bamboo Bike Tour

 

Meet the beneficiaries, explore our community projects, and support our initiatives to eliminate poverty—all while enjoying scenic rides on our bamboo bicycles!

Tour Highlights:

  • Visit all, or any of the 10 projects in 10 districts
  • Ride 40 km per day at a leisurely pace
  • All logistics handled by our experienced local teams

Join us for one or multiple legs of the tour. At each stop, you’ll meet a family we’re helping and have the opportunity to support a special cause with your donations.

It will be particularly exciting to bike with social workers from the different provinces, interesting exchanges guaranteed! Bernard, founder of Mekong Plus will join of course. You can choose a bamboo bike, or a “normal bike” as you wish. In the delta (20-24 July) we have a few bamboo electric bikes.

Reservations are required 2 weeks in advance. For reservations and more information, please email us at bernard.kervyn@mekongplus.org or message us on Facebook.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to ride, discover, and make a difference with Mekong Plus this summer!

 

 

More ways for you to make a generous contribution :

 

Sponsor a child with a scholarship: https://mekongplus.org/en/sponsor-a-child/

Finance a microcredit: https://mekongplus.org/en/finance-a-microcredit/

Join our eco-tours: https://mekongplus.org/en/mekong-bikes/

Buy our handicrafts: https://mekongquilts.com/

Make a donation to our programmes: https://mekongplus.org/en/donate/

Follow us on Facebook: Mekong Plus

 

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