In 2009 the Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI) partnered with Project RENEW in Quang Tri to launch a rural grassroots human security and livelihoods assistance program called “Mushrooms with a Mission” (MwM). This was specifically designed to aid economically vulnerable population groups including disabled victims of landmine and UXO accidents.
Under the MwM program, vulnerable farmers were provided with tools, material, training and grow houses to cultivate a variety of mushrooms. HDI and Project RENEW bought back all of the mushrooms grown by participating families thereby supplementing the monthly income of each family. The “mission” of the MwM was to improve the livelihoods and reduce poverty of hundreds of survivors of landmine accidents and their families. Many of the farming families selected for this program are disabled, female-headed households and/or ethnic minorities.
Program implementation was funded by the US Department of State – Office of Weapons Abatement, Embassy of Japan in Hanoi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China, the MiVAC, a non-profit humanitarian organization made up of Australian veterans of the war in Vietnam and the Vietnamese diaspora in the United States. The Mushroom facility situated in Cam Lo processes, packed and marketd the mushrooms bought from the farmers. 193 families had benefited from in the program by growing Wood-ear, Lingzhi and other species of Mushrooms. The initial results showing that the program had created job opportunities and good income generation for these families.
With approval from the provincial government, the MwM was handed over the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) after HDI closed their Vietnam program in May 2014. Now responsible for day-to-day management operations, DOST has pledged to try to ensure that participating families will continue receiving inputs and other support to successfully grow and harvest their mushroom crops.