Weaving her way out of poverty

by Action on Poverty



Empowering ethnic minority groups to improve their livelihoods

Project goal

To increase the income of ethnic minorities in Da Bac, Vietnam, through improving their livelihood models.

delivering on

why is this project important?

Vietnam is one of our most important regional neighbours. This country has made remarkable strides in development in recent decades. But the fight isn’t over yet. Poverty remains a stark reality for over 12 million people in Vietnam. Another 10 million hover just above the poverty line.

We are dedicated to bringing people out of the injustice of living in poverty. We apply a community-based approach in our work — meaning we work directly with the local people in open dialogue to understand their lives and how we can best help.

Hoan, 30, lives in Da Bac, Vietnam, with her husband, mother-in-law and two children. Hoan belongs to the Muong people – one of Vietnam’s 53 ethnic minority groups.

Unfortunately, these groups often suffer extreme poverty as they live mainly in remote areas, including the mountainous Da Bac region. Here, they have far less access to employment, education and health care.

Trapped in poverty

Like other Muong women in Da Bac, Hoan had lots of different jobs to make a living. Her main source of income was from catching and selling shrimp from Hoa Binh Lake, but she was struggling to earn enough to feed her family.

Hoan had tried to make her own shrimp traps, which involved splitting bamboo sticks by hand. Shrimp traps must be made of smooth bamboo using good weaving techniques. Without the correct equipment and training, Hoan was unable to make strong traps, and had to resort to buying traps from traders – a huge expense for her small-scale business.

Weaving a better way

We helped Hoan and other women in her village learn to weave their own traps using a bamboo-splitting machine.

The machine splits and smooths bamboo sticks in seconds. With help from the machine, Hoan can now weave up to 30 traps per day and save thousands of dollars every year. She also earns extra income from selling her traps to other shrimp catchers.

The women also discovered that using native bamboo increased the life span and efficiency of each trap. Their traps last twice as long as those they used to purchase from traders.

“I usually collect bamboo as I herd the cows so that we have the material even on rainy days,” said Hoan.

“Thanks to the money saved from trap weaving and selling, our family has extras to support our children in education and invest in other farming practices as well.”

For more information about our work, please visit our website.

related projects

It’s Our Place – Bellambi by Australian Social Investment Trust
Fair food farm by Green Connect
Feeding the Performance of Regional Communities by International Convention Centre Sydney
SDG Toolkit for Systems Thinking and Collaborative Approache... by Australian Council for International Development
Financial Inclusion Action Plan by Good Shepherd Microfinance
Kwale Cotton Project by Business for Development
Fighting hunger in australia by Foodbank Australia
Vision Initiative by Vision 2020 Australia
Sustainable Fashion by Restyle Closet
Business & Sustainability Forum Series by United Nations Association of Australia (WA)
Strong Women. Strong Business by Indigenous Business Australia
Day At The Zoo by City West Water
Northconnex by Transurban
The Individual Deprivation Measure Global Program by Individual Deprivation Measure
Thriving Communities Partnership by Thriving Communities Partnership
Economic empowerment for women in Tanzania by Australian Volunteers program
Get the experience and training you need to find a job by Department of Jobs and Small Business
Anti-Racism: It Stops with me campaign by Australian Human Rights Commission
Green Star by Green Building Council of Australia
Promoting the Advancement of Women Everywhere by Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia Pty Ltd
Green Star – Communities by Green Building Council of Australia
Global goals for local communities by Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA)
Wanzauni Livelihoods Improvement Project by Anglican Board of Mission
Adult literacy schools in PNG by Anglican Board of Mission
Achieving gender balance in water utilities by Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA)
Willing to Work by Australian Human rights Commission
Cooling the planet to feed the World by PundaZoie Company Pty. Ltd.
Barangaroo South by Lendlease
5000 Meals Program by Prepare Produce Provide
Spatial data infrastructure to help monitor and evaluate Aus... by AURIN – Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network
Circular Economy Design Sprint by The Common Purpose Collective
Delivering sustainable development through infrastructure by Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA)
Economic independence on traditional land by Indigenous Business Australia
Addressing the social determinants of injury by The George Institute for Global Health
We’re all in this Together by Healthy Cities Illawarra (HCI) and University of Wollongong (UOW)
Transforming Australia: SDG Progress Report by National Sustainable Development Council
ANZ SDG Bond by Australia New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ)

Does your organisation have a project to include?