An Overview of Vietnam Relief Effort’s June Commune, by Wilson Neely

January 5, 2012 by wilsonneelynyc

Goats on a Farm Photo by Marius Kallhardt

For the last 15 years, I have had the pleasure of calling Vietnam Relief Effort founder Chinh Chu a friend and colleague. The Vietnam Relief Effort, or VRE, carries out hands-on projects designed to bring aid and relief to the people of Vietnam. In 2011, my colleagues at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and I raised and donated more than $25,000 to the organization, and we are extremely proud and pleased of the work we helped them facilitate.

Among VRE’s efforts from the past year, the organization’s journey to the Mekong Delta in June ranks as one of great significance. A small group of volunteers boarded a bus and traveled to a commune with women who participate in a goat-farming endeavor put together by VRE. The organization’s work on this project began in January 2011 by way of a small loan for the purpose of educating 60-some women on how to farm goats for sale. That small donation went a long way: to date, the project has served 327 families.

Besides outfitting families with the resources they need to survive and hopefully thrive, VRE’s goat-farming project came with other carefully measured benefits. First, the effort’s success inspired the organization to branch out and offer loans to other families in an effort to help them generate regular income. Second, the volunteers who made the trip not only took pleasure in the experience of their hard work paying off, but received firsthand education on the particulars of microeconomics.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett anticipates more inspiring stories from the hard-working individuals at Vietnam Relief Effort.

About the Author

Wilson Neely has served Simpson Thacher & Bartlett as a Partner since 1982 and was recently named a New York Super Lawyer. Possessing considerable experience in mergers and acquisitions, Mr. Neely began working in private equity in 1994, a field to which he devotes much of his time and resources.

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