After hours work pays off as pork snack maker egged on to further success
Using free time valuably is a praiseworthy activity and can serve as inspiration for anyone seeking to earn extra money for their household in addition to that earned from one's regular day job.
A government staffer at the Vientiane Women's Union, Ms Phonphanh Bounthayavong, always rushes home to Khamhoung village, Xaythany district, after finishing work.
Then she swiftly changes out of her office uniform into everyday dress before getting down to the serious business of making the popular pork snack sommou and salted eggs.
The idea of making and selling the pork snack came to Ms Phonphanh from her own experiences in carrying out the ‘Three Goods' scheme run by the union.
The scheme aims to help all families in Laos to become wealthy family units.
One way to greater prosperity is a second job.
In general, it is not always easy to pursue a side business in addition to a full time occupation.
Ms Phonphanh is one example of so many public servants who always thought they might like to pursue a second line of business, but want to ensure this does not adversely affect or impinge on regular working hours.
To take advantage of her free time outside the office she decided to make a product that was in high demand.
She makes the pork snack three times a week, with the weekend days of Saturday and Sunday being the main production days.
She spends about 300,000 kip to buy 10 kilogrammes of pork needed to make a batch of sommou and earns about 600,000 kip after selling them all.
This means she makes nearly one million kip in profit each week.
Some of the snacks go to Khuadin market and more are sold to a shop in Vientiane.
The main contributions of time and effort come from herself and her family members.
The steps in making sommou must closely follow safe hygiene principles and the pork must be fresh and clean. The skin must be boiled and sliced into small pieces by hand.
Five pieces cost 20,000 kip, which has proven to be a popular proposition for the increasing ranks of happy customers.
Ms Phonphanh also makes salted eggs as an additional product.
After making sommou for more than a year, Ms Phonphanh has observed that her household has significant additional income each month.
The money earned from selling sommou and salted eggs in addition to her monthly salary has led to a steady improvement in her family's living standards.
As more women in Laos seek extra work to help their families graduate from poverty, Ms Phonphanh's case provides a fine example.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update April 8, 2017)