Meet our partners for the ASSET program in Vietnam!
Lung Tam is a village in the north of Vietnam, in Ha Giang province, where the cooperative was founded 16 years ago by Vàng Thị Mai, a local woman with a big dream. The co-op now counts 150 women among its members and is aiming to recruit 250 new members from three neighbouring villages in the next year.
Partners in Vietnam
Chau Nguyen Huyen, founder of Schools for Kids Vietnam and coordinator of Action for Lung Tam discovered the textile co-op while building a school in a nearby community almost four years ago. “There was something different about this village,” says Chau. “Hmong women are still very shy, discouraged from speaking to outsiders, mostly home-bound and subservient to their husbands. But the women in this village were confident, cheerful and they talked to us–there was something special about them from the beginning. Then we found out about the co-operative, and we realized that is helping to change women’s lives in big ways. We chose to work with them, because we believe the model can be replicated and create change in other villages around here.” Chau joined forces with an architect who was experienced in collaborative design, and they set about developing plans for a center for the group to work in and display their traditions. They are co-designing the space with the villagers in an innovative process which fosters feelings of engagement and investment in the space and the project as a whole. They set up the non-governmental organization Action for Lung Tam whose aim is to support sustainable development in the village and beyond.
Thinh Nguyen Bao Ngoc, former human rights lawyer and founder and director of Better Life Vietnam, has been facilitating all the partnership conversations. Thinh’s experience in human rights propelled her to start her own NGO which aims to provide education to underprivileged children in rural Vietnam. Partnering with Artistri Sud makes sense–“We can help with children’s education, but we can only do so much if the families don’t have enough income. If a mother needs her kids to help bring in money for food, she has to take them out of school. Supporting the women to be entrepreneurs is a logical fit to support children’s education in the long-term,” said Thinh via Skype. Thinh has been connecting Artistri Sud to groups she knows working with women and artisans in northern Vietnam.
We are looking forward to working with our partners to implement our successful ASSET project to transform the lives of women in need in rural areas of Northern Vietnam.
Do you want to help make a positive impact on whole communities, creating a better life for everyone involved and helping them get out of poverty? Consider making a gift to provide opportunities for women globally to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
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