Great news!  We are on track to deliver our Artistri Sud ASSET training program in the next couple of months in the Ha Giang province of Northern Vietnam. We have completed our Needs Assessment phase in September and our local partner on the ground, VietED (Viet Nam Rural Enterprise Development Center), a Vietnamese organization based in Hanoi, is securing the authorizations required to commence training. We currently have 42 women signed-up for the upcoming program, and potentially a few more will join prior to the start date!

We are piloting a new approach to building capacity among local leaders this year. We will first do the 2-day, Train-the-Trainer program with a subset of the selected women, so that they will be in a leadership position to assist during the intensive 5-day ASSET training program that will follow immediately afterwards. This will also speed-up the rate at which we create a self-sustaining hub of entrepreneurial knowledge in the target country. As you may have heard, this year in Chile, artisan-entrepreneur Eli became our first-ever Train-the-Trainer graduate to independently lead an adapted, multi-day ASSET training program. This milestone marks the success in our ability to build a self-sustaining ASSET program in a host country.

For our Vietnam program, while some of our trainees speak a little English, there is a greater percentage of women who have low or no literacy, and most of the trainees speak Hmong rather than Vietnamese. In order to adapt our program to these women, we have developed new training tools and techniques that will help make the content more accessible and fortuitously, also more easily translatable into other languages for future ASSET programs. Many of you will be interested to know that the strategic direction of Artistri Sud is to assist more women in regions that are in greater need, so it is a natural path for us to encounter and work around increasingly higher levels of illiteracy, such as in parts of Africa, which is planned as the next hub for the Artistri Sud program next year. Stay tuned!

And finally, some more exciting news: We are launching a new program for donations to support our Vietnam training: the Sponsor-a-Trainee donation program, that we hope will be a meaningful and fun way to give! Just in time for end-of-year donations that will qualify as charitable giving for your income tax year 2018.