Under the Covid-19 situation, TYM identifies that it is more important and urgent than ever to support women to overcome economic difficulties and ensure social safety. Thus, TYM insists to pursue the “dual goals” that are to drastically prevent the pandemic and, at the same time, maintain socio-economic recovery and development. Daily TYM’s people still “go upstream” into epidemic areas to serve women with essential services.
Passing 7 quarantine checkpoints to meet up with Members
At 5:30 am on a day in the first months of 2021, Ms. Pham Thi Oanh (credit officer of TYM Hai Duong branch) got up and pulled blankets to cover her 2 children, an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old. She turned on the stove to warm up the porridge pot cooked from the previous night, took the porridge into a bowl, then called the older child to wake up to brush his teeth and helped the younger to wash his face with warm water.
Putting on warm clothes for her children, she invited her parents-in-law to have breakfast with the children, then returned to the kitchen to reheat the food, scooped rice into a briefcase, poured water into a plastic bottle to prepare for her lunch box. After eating porridge in a hurry, she took 2 children get on a motorbike. The mother and the two child said bye their grandparents and then ride the motorbike to school.
Taking her 2 children to kindergarten and primary school, respectively, she headed to Chi Linh city, where she would start her working day. Stopping the motorbike right in front of the quarantine checkpoint, she opened the trunk to take a thin raincoat and put it on, put on an anti-droplet hat and rubber gloves. After showing her work card to the medical staff, measuring her body temperature, she entered Chi Linh City – at that time still in the period of social distancing. She went through 7 quarantine checkpoints in turn to meet the members. The cluster leader and 2 TYM members were also just present. 4 chairs spaced 2 meters apart. Ms. Oanh took advantage of asking about the epidemic situation in the areas where the members live, how many “F” in the areas, how the epidemic affected their lives, and then encouraged the members to try their best to strictly implement 5K epidemic prevention.
While encouraging the members, she opened the books and completed the procedures for the 2 members to withdraw their savings, a part of which was to pay periodic repayments for TYM’s loans, and a part was to buy them essential food in preparation for the fight against the epidemic. The two members left, there were 2 other members in turn to do repayment and savings withdrawal transactions.
Ms. Oanh said that during these epidemic days, like her, all TYM staff in Hai Duong branch continued to work non-stop.
In addition to routine jobs, TYM staff regularly call members to talk and encourage, and at the same time remind them to strictly comply with epidemic prevention and control regulations, listen to their difficulties, and discuss with them to find solutions.
At each cluster, she worked for about 1 hour and then moved to other clusters. At noon, she returned to the branch’s office located in Chi Linh City. Here, she took off her raincoat and epidemic prevention equipment, took lunch and stayed at the office. In the afternoon, she was again with the raincoat, anti-droplet hat, and rubber gloves to return to clusters. At the end of the working day, she went 30 km and passed again 7 quarantine checkpoints back to Hai Duong city with the family.
The more difficult, the more caring and sharing needed
Ms. Oanh said that when the epidemic broke out, TYM members faced many difficulties. Most of them are small traders or farmer, lack of capital, so they came to TYM for help. During the epidemic period, the trading activities were limited, even stopped altogether; as a result, their income was meager or even zero.
Faced with that, following instructions from branch leaders, she quickly contacted the members to grasp the situation. The most important thing was to keep in touch with the members and the cluster heads. Ms. Oanh said: “Every day, we work closely with members. During the difficult time, we should even care more and share more”.
TYM officials like Ms. Oanh regularly meet with members who live in blocked areas via phone. They listen to and share with members, encourage them, and work with them to find a plan to stabilize the living and at the same time do repayment on time. Given different cases, members might be advised to withdraw the savings for making repayment and covering other necessary family expenses. For the members who were in an extremely difficult situation, TYM made a list and donated them with rice, necessities and even cash.
Ms. Oanh said, thanks to the strict measures of the authorities, and the serious epidemic prevention of the communities, each outbreak was quickly controlled. Therefore, the blockade period was not too long, then members could return to normal life.
During that time, economic difficulties were not too great; what the members needed the most was our concern and companionship.
Ms. Oanh recounted some cases of TYM members in the blockade area facing economic difficulties. She and other TYM’s staff called them to make an appointment and then brought all the documents, books and money to the blockade. Here, she put the relevant papers on a table and then stepped back. Then, the members moved forward to reach the papers and put their signatures to withdraw the savings. In many places, new members were not familiar with the procedures, she had to guide them over the phone so that they could fill in the data and sign in the right place. After their signing, she put the money on the table and then stepped back for the member to come and get it. Ms. Oanh said: “During the epidemic, they have no ways but call us, we should bring them all favorable conditions to overcome difficulties and overcome the epidemic”.
“My husband is working in the police force and now in Quang Ninh province. During the pandemic, he was unable to return home. Due to the work nature, I myself daily went to the epidemic areas. The two children were taken care by my grandparents. I came home late in the afternoon. The two kids ran out to hug when seeing their mum at the gate; but I had to wave hands to refuse and do not dare to hold them. It took me almost half an hour to take off protective clothes, bath and disinfect myself before I dared to hug my baby…” – Ms. Pham Thi Oanh, Technical Officer of TYM Hai Duong branch
Many members saw that during the epidemic TYM staff not only did not “abandon” but also cared them more; they were touched, then even recommended their relatives to join TYM. Therefore, in the midst of the epidemic, there was still a constant increase of 3-4 new members joining her per month.
|In the first quarter of 2021, the Board of Directors of TYM approved a number of measures for the pandemic prevention in Hai Duong:
Identified as one of the essential services, despite of great challenges, TYM commits to maintain a continuing operation towards “dual” missions: i) epidemic prevention to ensure safety for members/customers and TYM people; ii) effective operation contributing to the quality of the credit sector.
To name a some measures: Equipping masks and hand sanitizer for all TYM transaction points in 13 provinces and cities; Equipping all TYM staff and cluster leaders with necessary protective gear; Spraying disinfectant at the workplace; Providing all conditions for TYM staff to be vaccinated; Carrying out regular communication via digital channels and in-person to raise awareness of TYM’s members on how to prevent the pandemic; Restructuring the repayment term for members in difficulty due to the impact of the pandemic; Postponing the repayment for members in the blocked or inaccessible areas due to regulations of local authorities.
By the end of June 2021, the total budget for epidemic prevention and control of TYM reached nearly VND 2.2 billion. In particular, in 2020, the credit package of VND 1,400 billion with preferential interest rates has enthusiastically and highly appreciated by TYM’s members.