Breaking out of the cocoon

Overcoming the limits of oneself

Paper publication date: 
Monday, May 22, 2017

Story has it that there was once a person who saw a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon, so he/she decided to cut it for the butterfly to get out. Little did he/she know that his action prevented it from flying. The butterfly could only crawl around its cocoon, causing the wrinkles on its wings and eventually death. The struggle to break out of the cocoon is necessary for the butterfly to become strong and capable of flying.

This book documents the stories of people from different regions of Vietnam on their process of realization and struggle to emerge from the cocoon formed by their own prejudice and social pressure that: “A good wife must obey”, “Women must take care of all the house work”, “Men must decide everything”, “Girls need not study much”, “Getting an education is the only road for success”, “Anywhere is better than my hometown”. This process does not only help them transform – become stronger and more confident but also help them realize the value of dreams and determination to chase their own aspirations.

62 story-photos introduced in this book were taken by 25 farmers representing four ethnic communities of Kinh, Tay, Chinese, Khmer in Lao Cai, Bac Giang, Soc Trang and Ca Mau provinces. These were selected from more than 5,000 products by 96 farmers who participated in a Photo Voice project, funded by Oxfam International ‘s Knowledge Fund, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). This project was co-operated by Oxfam in Vietnam and CECEM Training & Consultancy Joinstock Company in the period from September 2016 to March 2017.