Your visit to the Vietnamese countryside and its inhabitants will be directly used to support the farmer hosting you.
What to experience ?
Bloom Microventures offers local day tours to rural communities around Hanoi. You will visit the people that your tour will support. An interpreter will tell you about the local history, religious customs and culture, as well as help you to interact and understand the realities of disadvantaged women in Viet Nam. Lunch will be a traditional meal prepared with garden ingredients at the house of the Local Women’s Union head and is a highlight of the day.
You will also visit some fascinating historical and religious sites, beautiful lakes and mountains where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the tranquil countryside. You can also try your hand at some agricultural activities with the microfinance borrowers such as rice and tomato farming. For those still full of energy there is a stunning bicycle ride through the countryside, or the chance to learn how to fish using traditional local methods.
In participating in the tour you will not only get an inspiring and humbling insight into the lives of the borrowers, the challenges and opportunities of rural Viet Nam, but also actively make a difference to the communities that you are visiting. The number of tourists is controlled to avoid disturbing everyday village life.
And when back home, stay involved, tell your friends and follow the progress and loan repayments of the entrepreneurs you met through their online project centre.
How does it help ?
Bloom Microventures is a non-profit organisation that is pioneering a new model providing microcredit to marginalised entrepreneurs in an attempt to alleviate poverty by harnessing the power of responsible/pro-poor tourism. They do not give handouts, they believe in the potential of the people, and that their disadvantaged situation is only due to a lack of opportunities.
The fees paid for the tour are disbursed as a microloan to the entrepreneurs you have interacted with, ultimately providing stepping stones for them and the community to escape poverty. Since it is a loan, once the loan cycle is over, the capital can be used again for further loans or other community-development activities. Future plans involve linking borrowers’ micro-enterprises to higher level value chains in near-by cities.
The goal is not to make tourism a direct source of income for the borrowers, but to ensure that it is used to supplement their current revenue stream and diversify their livelihoods. Local partners also organise workshops and training activities that help borrowers learn new skills and enhance their earning capacity.
A strict adherence to the three R’s – Recycle, Reuse and Reduce – is enforced; plastic bottles of water are reused (by the way, you are encouraged to bring your own bottles).