Tan Minh Single mother’s group was formed in 1996 when a Finnish NGO, then called Devaid (now CED) in cooperation with Finnish-Vietnamese Friendship Organization started a project called “Supporting for Tan Minh single women”. Tan Minh commune is in Soc Son district near the Hanoi airport in Vietnam. The group consists of 184 women. There is no one explanation why there are so many single mothers in Tan Minh, we all have a different story to tell.

You can read a few of them in the gallery.
Back in 1996 we were living in very poor conditions, sharing houses with chicken. Our social status within the local community was very low and so was our confidence. When the micro credit saving was introduced to us in 1997, we bought farm animals and tools. Slowly but surely our living conditions started to improve. Devaid provided us support and training on farming, health & hygiene. Most importantly we learned to act together and rise our opinions. Sharing experience and getting support from other women in similar situations gave us courage.

After years of hard work we have improved our social and economical status. We no longer have to fear for someone to steal our chickens if we leave the house, which was one of our everyday concerns before!. As a reward for our work the local community donated us a piece of land to build a meeting hall in 2006. We have become an example of a successful development project and role models for other single mothers in Vietnam.

Current situation
Now we have new challenges ahead of us. Soc Son area is industrializing fast, the farming land is getting smaller and smaller. We need to find diverse sources of living, be prepared for the future where farming is not the main source of income.

To answer these challenges CED provided a sewing course for a group of us in 2007. We started producing Soundly Sleeping Dragon silk sleeping bags for CED to sell in Finland. In December 2008 the Tan Minh Single mother’s cooperative was formed. We hope to find more customers to get more women involved in the sleeping bag making. We are working towards Fair Trade certification.
By buying our products you can support our efforts in maintaining independent life in the changing conditions!