LIN Center for Community Development

LIN's mission is to provide support services to local NPOs, skilled volunteers and donors who are committed to building strong communities. The LIN Center for Community Development serves grassroots not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) and individual and corporate philanthropists located in and around Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. By helping local people to meet local needs, LIN aims to promote a healthy environment for philanthropy in Vietnam and strengthen the communities in which we live and work.
Mar 31, 2014

The "Annual report" volunteer

Le Thuy Linh
Le Thuy Linh

For the past three years, LIN engaged skilled volunteers to help draft our annual report. In addition to supporting our team with an essential task, having an outsider's perspective on our work has proven to be invaluable to LIN for two reasons. Firstly, we are learning how to better explain our work to key stakeholders. The second benefit is to have an unbiased person supporting the process of reflection and evaluation of our work and our outcomes. This past year, we were fortunate to meet Ms. Le Thuy Linh whose professional experience and personal interests suggested a perfect fit for the task of writing up LIN's 2013 annual report.

In this interview, Linh shares her tips to create an annual report that is both professional and eye-catching.

How did you get to help LIN write its Annual Report?

Linh: I had known about LIN for a while before I registered to volunteer for this organization. During a discussion with Ms. Dana Doan, my supervisor at LIN, I was asked if I could help to write the LIN 2013 Annual Report. I thought this would offer the best opportunity to gain an overall understanding about an organization, since I would have the opportunity to talk to not only LIN staff but also its beneficiaries and partners. Because my background was in market research, I was particularly interested in this project which would enable me to apply my analysis and presentation skills.

How long did it take for you to complete the report? What did you have to do?

Linh: The first step was to compile all data into an internal report, followed by drafting the content  for the official report. The entire LIN team especially Ms. Dana Doan, contributed to the content through discussions and interviews. Since the target was a short report that delivers the most essential information about LIN, I spent quite a lot of time to select data and plan the draft.

However, it was the presentation of the report that was most time-consuming. I am very critical when it comes to presentation. I am not skilled in graphic designing, therefore, I tried to read many annual reports by other organizations to learn from their layout and design. I spent quite a lot of time going back and forth with different layouts and designs, as well as selecting photos from LIN’s database and editing them in Instagram. My boyfriend is a designer so he also volunteered to help me with the design. I spent a total of one month on the report.

In your opinion, how important is the annual report for an NPO?

Linh: The Annual Report is a tool to share information about the organization and its activities and achievements. It is an effective way to archive data and helps the staff to gain an overall picture of the work of the organization and set their targets for the coming year. For not-for-profit organizations, the Annual Report has another important function: the opportunity to inform the donors and the community about their work, raise the awareness and indirectly call for action or rally support for a causes that the NPOs are advocating.

What skills are required of a volunteer to write an Annual Report for an NPO?

Linh: First, the volunteer must be interested in reading and learning about the NPO he/she is supporting. Second is the ability to analyze and select data, however, the most important skill is storytelling. The volunteer should be able to pick the right information to create the plot and use visuals to present the story in the most compelling way.

Thank you!

“We are proud of this report!”

"The LIN team learned a great deal from Linh during the three months that she worked with us. She always prepared for meetings and asked great questions. One of the first things she did was to explain her proposed approach and suggested timeline, which helped to set our expectations and ensured that we would be prepared with the information she needed to complete the report. She engaged easily with the LIN team and spoke with several of our stakeholders, making a deliberate and sincere effort to understand our work.

Opening up Linh's first draft of the annual report was an awesome experience. She accomplished something we had   always wanted to do but did not know how to do ourselves. The format and design of the annual report managed to tell the story of LIN's work in 2013, using data and visuals in a meaningful and effective way. We are so proud of the report that Linh created for LIN and truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from her."   

- Ms. Dana Doan, LIN’s Consultant

Click here for LIN’s 2013 Annual Report

(Read more about LIN's Volunteer projects from our Volunteer Newsletter at: http://www.linvn.org/cms/upload/FCKFile/file/Newsletters/Volunteer%20Newsletter%20Q1_EN.pdf)

Links:

Mar 17, 2014

E-Book for Visually Impaired Children Almost Done!

Narrow the Gap Visits Kim Tu Dien Centre
Narrow the Gap Visits Kim Tu Dien Centre

On 28 February 2014, LIN organized a site visit to The Center for Multilanguage Database Kim Tu Dien, which won 3rd Place (and a grant of VND 50 million) during the Narrow the Gap Community Event 2013: Focus on Children.  Kim Tu Dien agreed to use those funds to produce a “Let’s Learn” English language E-book for visually impaired children at shelters, clubs and schools in Ho Chi Minh City.  Click here to watch the short video introduction to their project.

Four Narrow the Gap representatives joined the morning site visit, where we met and talked with Mr. Tri, the software developer , who gave an introduction to the Center and how they came up with the idea to produce a “Let’s Learn” English language E-book for visually impaired children at shelters, clubs and schools in Ho Chi Minh City.

“In the past, we created several E-books for children,” said Mr. Tri.  “We also created E-books for visually impaired children, with a shelter as our client.  We just thought, ‘why not turn this popular English language learning book into an E-book for visually impaired children as well?’”

After running through a demo of the “Let’s Learn” E-book, which Mr. Tri said is ninety percent completed, he talked about next steps.  First the team needs to check, once more, for errors and complete the design (referring to functionality as opposed to graphics). Before the end of March, they expect to install the E-book on some computers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind in order to test usability with the Director and some of the students.

Attention NPOs working with visually impaired children! Mr. Tri said that Kim Tu Dien would welcome a chance to test the software at one or two other shelters. If any of your organizations would be interested and willing to help test the software, please contact Mr. Tri (at Kim Tu Dien) and/or Mr. Son (at LIN).

“In our experience working with visually impaired children, we know that they cannot use a mouse and they prefer to only use the ‘up’ and ‘down’ buttons,” explained Mr. Tri. “That is why we designed this software to rely heavily on those two keys.”

Once the tests are completed, Kim Tu Dien will make the required fixes before disseminating the completed “Let’s Learn” E-book to schools and shelters in the existing network first.  Afterwards, Kim Tu Dien said it would like to make the software available to anyone else that would be interested.  For this purpose, they plan to upload the software to the Center’s website for free download.  (A password may be required but Mr. Tri said the Center plans to provide a password to anyone interested to download the program.)

“In the past, we made software for visually impaired children as a service provider, with the shelter as our client,” said Mr. Tri.  “We did what they wanted.”  But the decision to produce the “Let’s Learn” B-book, was different, “This program is something [Kim Tu Dien] wanted to do so we gave it our all, we contributed our staff time and we are working hard to make it perfect.”

Because Kim Tu Dien won third place, they were only able to create one out of the three “Let’s Learn” E-books they originally proposed to translate.  Mr. Tri said the center plans to look for additional funds so they can make these books as well, “We still have a desire to produce the other two E-books.”

Mr. Tri demonstrates how the e-book works
Mr. Tri demonstrates how the e-book works

Links:

Mar 17, 2014

Inauguration of the Clean Water Tower Project!

Participants on the ferry, visiting the project
Participants on the ferry, visiting the project

LIN staff and volunteers, ILA Vietnam (Donor), Ceporer Hóc Môn (Grantee), Hoi Huynh e (INGO partner to Ceporer Hoc Mon), representatives of HSBC (Donor) and filmmakers from Unilever (Donor) departed from Ho Chi Minh City for Long An at 6:00am on Sunday, 23 February 2014. After two hours of travel, we arrived at the People’s Committee of Long Thuan Commune in Long An Province. There, we all boarded a ferry in order to reach the location of the water tower, where the clean water tower would be inaugurated that same day, for the benefit of the local people, including 86 families with 160 children.

Our first destination was to visit some fo the houses that would benefit from the clean water. From the ferry, we could see the plastic pipeline, carrying clean water to the three most remotely located families in the area. The flow of the water was still strong and the water looked just as clean as the water we are use in Ho Chí Minh City. One of the concerns; however, was that the pipeline is underground in some parts and above ground in other parts.  We worried that this would present a risk of damage to the pipeline and raised the question with the project team. The project team said they had thought about this as well but they needed to discuss with the local government to find a long-term solution.

During the trip, the delegation met with Mr. Phô who, together with his mother, are already benefiting from the project. He shared his opinion: “I work far from my home and usually arrive home late. I am so glad to have fresh water for use instead of having to use the alum water or having to wait for rainwater. The pipeline also helps us to save time since we no longer need to travel to a water source.”

We tried to visit another two households but, they happened to be workign on their farms at the time of our visit, so we could not interview them. Nevertheless, we had an opportunity to investigate the pipeline and test the water.

After the visits, we took the ferry to the location of the water tower to participate in the inauguration ceremony with the local government representatives, community members, project team members and children from the area. It was an exciting and happy time. After the ceremony, we spoke with Mr. Nam, who allowed the project members to build the tower on his land.  He said: “We, the local households, were so worried about the water here.  We raised our concerns to the People’s Committee in our Commune and even in the Province but we never received any satisfactory response. When I heard that this project would be possible, I was happy to lend my land as I know it will benefit everyone. I would like to thank the Narrow the Gap Fund and other donors, who take care of the people in Long Thuan, our poor commune in Long An Province.”

The project team invited Mr. Pham Truong Son, Deputy Director of LIN, to cut the ribbon to officially inaugurate the clean water tower at Long Thuan Commune in Long An Province. Now, 86 households which care for 160 children, have acess to clean water. In his remarks, Ms. Son shared, “On behalf of all of the donors and supporters of the Narrow the Gap Fund 2013 for Children, I am so pleased to be able to attend the inauguration ceremony today. Now that the water tower is complete and water is flowing, we know that the next step is to maintain the water tower and reinfoce the pipeline. It is great to know that the management staff are assigned and focused on these tasks. We wish you all continued success with this project and we want you to know that we are by your side.”

***

Check out LIN's Narrow the Gap page on Facebook for regular updates: https://www.facebook.com/NarrowTheGapFund?ref=hl

Water flowing to people
Water flowing to people's houses
The pipeline, along a bridge
The pipeline, along a bridge
Mr. Son (rt) talks with Mr. Nam outside his home
Mr. Son (rt) talks with Mr. Nam outside his home

Links:

donate now:

An anonymous donor is matching all new monthly recurring donations. Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $15
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $15
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?