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Turning Waste into Wealth: A Unique Approach to Alleviate Poverty

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Since the establishment of the festival, people have become more conscious of environmental protection and have also raised funds to help poor members facing difficulties.

In August 2016, the Women’s Union (LHPN) of Dak Duc commune, Ngoc Hoi district, Kon Tum province, implemented the “”””turning trash into money”””” model. Since then, villagers have become more aware of preserving and protecting the environment.

In addition, from the surplus waste, the union has accumulated a fund to assist poor members facing difficult circumstances.

Initially, 69 members of the Women’s Union in Dục Nhầy 1 hamlet participated in the project, and now, the model has expanded to 9 Women’s Union branches in 9 hamlets with 824 members.

Ms. Y Chon, Chairwoman of the Women’s Union of Dak Duc commune, stated that since the inception of the model, it has yielded practical results.

Over the past 7 years, the Women’s Union model in the commune has earned over 100 million Vietnamese dong from selling scrap materials. With this amount, the commune’s Women’s Union has set up funds to visit and provide gifts to women in difficult circumstances, support poor union members, and carry out meaningful social activities.

Not only has it created a support fund for poor women, but the model has also contributed to raising awareness about environmental hygiene among the local residents.

Since the implementation of the model, people in various hamlets and households have increased their awareness. Instead of disposing of trash indiscriminately in public places, they have developed the habit of sorting waste and collecting it at designated locations.

After sorting, recyclable waste materials such as shells, boxes, cement bags, beer can lids, and bottles are kept. Subsequently, the union branches in various hamlets collect and sell the recyclable waste materials to waste collection agents.

The funds collected are then added to the funds of the union branches to carry out activities that support poor women, ethnic minority people, and disadvantaged children in the community.

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A practical model by the Women’s Union of Dak Duc commune.

At the end of each month, the village square in Nong Kon hamlet is bustling with women who enthusiastically bring scrap materials to contribute to the “”””turning trash into money”””” model.

Ms. Y Hieng, Chairwoman of the Women’s Union of Nong Kon hamlet, joyfully shared, “”””In 2016, the Women’s Union of Nong Kon hamlet was one of the first union branches to respond to the implementation of the ‘turning trash into money’ model initiated by the Women’s Union of Dak Duc commune to raise funds to support poor women and children.””””

By collecting recyclables to contribute to a fund for the needy, all the sisters, who are members of the union, are enthusiastic and voluntarily collect recyclables. Since the introduction of this model, the sisters have become more united, and the village lanes and alleys are no longer littered with plastic bottles, paper, and scattered scrap iron.””””

According to Sister Y Hieng, for the past 7 years, the collection of recyclables like glass bottles and old household items has been consistently maintained by many sisters in the union.

Initially, Nong Kon hamlet had only 80 participating union members, but gradually, they realized the significance of the model, and the number of participating sisters increased to 107 members. With the money collected, the union has helped many especially difficult situations.

At the beginning of this year, the union set aside 1,500,000 Vietnamese dong to visit a child in the hamlet who suffered severe burns and had to be hospitalized. They also supported poor union members, bought books and school supplies for the children of needy union members, and assisted many orphaned children and elderly individuals living alone.

Similarly, in Dục Nhầy 3 hamlet, on weekends, the sisters in the union form groups to collect recyclables from households in the hamlet. They then gather and sell recyclables once a month.

When they sell, they may earn between 50,000 to 60,000 dong, and sometimes even a few hundred thousand dong. The money collected is pooled to provide support for female union members facing difficulties and special circumstances in the hamlet.

Sister Y Chợt, Chairwoman of the Women’s Union of Dục Nhầy 3 hamlet, shared, “”””Before implementing this model, people paid little attention to plastic waste. Many still had the habit of throwing plastic bottles and containers onto the streets or into drainage canals. However, since the union actively promoted and reminded everyone, plastic waste and glass bottles are now collected by people in separate bags and taken home. This not only helps protect the environment but also provides some extra money to assist those in need.””””

Ms. Y Chon, Chairwoman of the Women’s Union of Dak Duc commune, added, “”””In the future, the Women’s Union of Dak Duc commune will continue to maintain the model and attract even more union members to participate. At the same time, the Union will continue to guide the union branches in various hamlets, encouraging union members to effectively implement the model to assist many difficult situations within the commune.””””


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