One day in the end of 2023, I accompanied village elder A Im to visit his countryman A Ham. At the age of over 90, A Ham is still in good health, thanks to A Im’s assistance.

Previously, A Ham had put all his trust in a local shaman rather than doctors. Thus, every time when he felt sick, he went to the shaman to worship by offering buffalos, pigs and chickens to the deity in order to “bid farewell” to diseases. Time after time, despite a waste of money, nothing had been improved.

Village elder A Im visits A Ham.

Learning about the situation, Secretary A Im came to A Ham to explain and persuade him to see a doctor. At the medical clinic, A Ham had a health check and received medicines. In a very short time, he recovered considerably.

In order to help the hometown become a wealthy destination, it is not only to remove harmful cultural practices but also to boost economic development. However, to call upon the whole people to change old farming methods, “the cadres must set an example.” 

Actions speak louder than words. Hence, in 2010, A Im started cultivating land to plant rubber and coffee trees, which are suitable for the feature of basalt soil in the country’s Central Highlands region. At present, his family has over 1ha of rubber in harvesting time and more than 1,000 coffee trees.

At the same time, he also made efforts in changing old farming methods of local people, particularly in cattle ranching. Previously, Y Tieng followed a naturally-raised method which is associated with the extensive use of natural resources. It does not need much sweat but has bad impact on the environment and owners might lose their livestock.

Now she shared that thanks to suggestion from A Im, her family started to invest in building a new cattle house and planting elephant grass (also commonly known as Napier grass). Her livestock herd is developing well.

Mr. A Theng, Deputy Chairman of the Ro Koi commune People’s Committee, underlined that over the past time, village elder A Im has actively encouraged his village fellows in changing their old mindset and building a new cultural life, taken the lead in developing economy, and joining hands in maintaining social order and protecting the national sovereignty over the shared borderline.

Translated by Minh Anh