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As part of the annual activities of donor Manos Unidas to evaluate SRD's projects, on 06 and 07/12/2018, Ms. Patricia Garrido Llamas, Program Manager for Southeast Asia and Mr. Alberto Manuel Martínez García, volunteers from the Manos Unidas had a trip to visit the project activities "Conversation of Agro-biodiversity and Strengthening the climate resilience of poor communities in Son La province".

Despite being a very brief trip, just 1.5 working days, donors, leaders, SRD staff and partners in Son La province organized and participated in many field activities; both participating in activities of members of interest groups and visiting to talk with the households participated in the project; In addition, they also participate in cultural exchanges and arts performance of people in two project communes (Bon Phang commune and Muoi Noi commune) and have some meetings and discussions with stakeholders in Thuan Chau district, Son La province.
Ms. Patricia's visit and sharing with the people, local authorities, partners in Son La Province and SRD helped to encourage and inspire for the project to continue successfully in the coming stages:

"We are very impressed by the active participation, optimism and community activities of the people in the two project communes as well as the hospitality they have given us and the staff of SRD. Although the new project has been implemented in the last 11 months, activities (including CSR rice cultivation, indigenous rice rehabilitation, indigenous chicken raising, and village savings groups), local people (especially women) are very sympathetic and responsive. Manos Unidas has been very impressed with SRD's cooperation over the past several years in Vietnam, especially in the Son La Project. We consider SRD to be the best partner in Vietnam and a model for other international partner organizations to follow. For the local partner, I am very happy and hopeful when Vice Chairman of People's Committee of Thuan Chau district commits to allocate a budget of the district to support the people in 2 project communes on training activities, communication and capacity building for 2019"
Some pictures during the donor visit in Son La:



Photo 1: Ms. Patricia attended a Village Savings Loan Group (VSLA) meeting at Keo Phay Village, Bon Phang Commune, Thuan Chau District.



Picture 2: Visiting the home of Mrs. Lo Thi Lien, Keo Phay village. Mrs. Lien said, "Every three days, I collect these goose eggs, selling them for five thousand for one egg. Besides selling chicken eggs and goose eggs, I also sell chicken meat, each month I earn from three to four million ... we are old now so that this amount of money is enough for my family's spending. "



Photo 3: Ms. Patricia together with leaders of People's Committee of Muoi Noi Commune visit the sites of some landslides and flash floods caused by hurricanes in the rainy season of 2018. The total rice area of the whole commune has been lost is over 5 hectares, of which 4 villages in the project is over 3 hectares. At present, the Commune People's Committee has tried to overcome the 3 ha so that people can continue to transplant in the next years, the remaining area cannot be overcome.



Photo 4: During the discussion between donors, SRD and members of the project management board in Son La province, Mr. Quang Van Dung - Vice Chairman of People's Committee of Thuan Chau district has agree to commit some district budget to support the project with additional agricultural development activities such as training, propaganda and capacity building for people in two project communes in 2019.



Picture 5: Representative of donor from Manos Unidas and SRD leaders and staff are happy to join the traditional dance of people in Keo Phay village, Bon Phang commune.



Photo 6: And watch the women's football match between members of the interest groups of the project in Bo village and Nguon commune of Muoi Noi commune. Sponsors are very impressed with the community activities like this, especially for women.



Photo 7: Visit and exchange with Son La Department of Foreign Affairs. The Department of Foreign Affairs of Son La province welcomes and creates the best conditions for donors and NGOs to have projects supporting agricultural and forestry development, infrastructure development, etc. The sponsor of Manos Unidas was very happy and thanked the warm welcome of leaders and staff of Department of Foreign Affairs.



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