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.
Dec 11, 2013

Volunteer Story: The Heart of Ms. Bente

DCOH with Ms. Bente (also in DCOH T-shirt)
DCOH with Ms. Bente (also in DCOH T-shirt)

THE HEART OF MS. BENTE

"In life, we need to live with warm hearts. Do you know why? To let the wind take them away ... ". We will not forget the moment when members from DCOH “sang” this song by sign language at the Funding Appeal round of Narrow the Gap 2012. This was the first time I had an opportunity to present a project in front of a large audience, thanks to Ms. Bente Sternberg. She was my coach, a sister, and to her I really want to express my deep gratitude.

Ms. Bente Sternberg is a training and consulting specialist. LIN helped her to connect with our organization to consult on the project presentation at the Narrow the Gap Funding round. The funding would help deaf and mute women to escape from family violence. If the project was successful the Deaf Community Organization of Ho Chi Minh City (DCOH) would receive funding to carry out the project. This was not only a great opportunity but also a significant challenge for DCOH.

Ms. Bente is a foreign woman with a tiny body, simple attire and a gentle smile. She came to work with us three to four times a week. She spent three to four hours each time to teach me how to walk and speak effectively for the presentation. Presenting a project concisely, thoroughly, and engaging the sympathy of the audience is a new task, which is not easy for me. I have a fear of public speaking and tend to ramble too much. Ms. Bente was a patient listener and although all communication between us had to rely on an interpreter, she helped me to overcome my weaknesses.

In addition, Ms. Bente also advised our team on how to promote DCOH and design the booth for the day of the event. She proposed DCOH print it’s logo on a small stickers and stick them on the dress of each visitor to make a good impression on the audience. She also showed us how to design our first leaflet which included the project introduction and a summary of the group’s activity. These were really effective promotional tools that we had not thought of and had no ability to develop.

On the day of event, Ms. Bente arrived at the site early. Seeing the booth of DCOH located in an inconvenient spot, she asked the organizers to move our booth to another position. She also furnished supplies which DCOH team used to make the booth more beautiful. She was always on duty at the DCOH booth to answer visitor questions as well as give them the leaflets and stickers. Maybe it was her warm-heartedness which contributed to the good impression of our group and helped us to get the most votes.

The organizations each presented their project then the audience would vote for their favorite project. I felt very worried because members of DCOH expected a lot from this project, and I had to win on their behalf. Ms. Bente thoroughly understood my psychological state and she encouraged me a lot. I stood before the audience and just focused on what I had practiced all this time in order to complete the presentation successfully. When the results were announced, we were surprised our organization had won the most votes, which resulted in funding of 150 million Vietnam Dong. The efforts of DCOH and the devotion of Ms. Bente were well rewarded.

Although Ms. Bente and I only worked together for two weeks it was a wonderful experience for me. She has helped me to feel more confident and improve my presentation and communication skills. A professional volunteer like Ms. Bente is a real necessity for our organization. I wish I could work with her for a whole lifetime.

Links:

Nov 7, 2013

NPO Incubator at LIN Community Center

The Deaf Community of HCMC borrows space at LIN
The Deaf Community of HCMC borrows space at LIN

Shortly after launching opening LIN's Community Center, LIN decided to convert the extra office space into desks for local NPOs who do not have an office and cannot afford one. That idea then stimulated a discussion on what other kind of start-up support LIN could provide to early stage NPOs. These discussions resulted in the first NPO Incubator program in Vietnam.

LIN's NPO Incubator services seeks to strengthen the capacity of Vietnamese NPOs, which would help to improve their performance, accountability, reputation and acceptance in the broader development community. By supporting start-up and developing charitable and community development organizations, we believe LIN can make apositive impact in our community.  The current benefits to NPOs that participate in the Incubator program include:

1 . Office space for 4 NPOs (desk, chair, computer, WIFI, electricity, stationary, water, access to printer/scanner, etc)
2 . Networking opportunities with LIN team and other NPOs in the program
3 . Management assistance from the LIN team
4 . Technical assistance via LIN's ongoing organizational development training services (workshops, peer exchanges and one-one-one consultations)
5 . Access to LIN's meeting and conference rooms

Athough the service was not officially announced until October 2013, LIN already has two NPOs participating in the Incubator program: ECO-Vietnam Group and VietSeed Foundation.  We are excited to welcome the

LIN
LIN's training room prepares for 50 guests

Links:

Nov 4, 2013

LIN's Narrow the Gap Fund for Children - Update 2

1st Place Project - Ceporer Hoc Mon Social Center
1st Place Project - Ceporer Hoc Mon Social Center

From June to September 2013, with the help of more than 80 individuals (including you!), 30 companies and 52 volunteers, over 300 million Viet Nam Dong (about USD $15,000) was contributed to the Narrow the Gap Community Fund to address children’s issues in and near Ho Chi Minh City. Meanwhile, a committee of ten HCMC residents volunteered to evaluate 14 proposals submitted by local, nonprofit organizations and select the five proposals that could best address the needs of children in and near Ho Chi Minh City. The five proposals were posted online in August and over 2,500 people voted for their favorite, which narrowed the finalists down to three. Finally, on 15 September 2013, nearly 340 members of the Ho Chi Minh City Community attended the Narrow the Gap Community Event where they learned about the top three projects and were asked to vote for the proposal they liked most. This last vote determined the size of the grant each project would receive from the Narrow the Gap Community Fund.

 

We are pleased to announce the winners of the three grants:

  •  First Place (Grant of VND 150,000,000): Ceporer Hoc Mon will use these funds to build a clean water tower that will help improve the quality of life for 161 children from 80 families living in Long Thuan (Long An), where the existing water source has been contaminated by alum. Click here to read the original project proposal.
  •  Second Place (Grant of VND 100,000,000): Nhan Ai Social Work Club will offer life skills training and psychological counseling to disadvantaged children in poverty stricken areas of HCMC. Click here to read the original project proposal.
  •  Third Place (Grant of VND 50,000,000): The Center for Multilanguage Database Kim Tu Dien will use these funds to produce a -Let‘s Learn E-book for visually impaired children at shelters, clubs and schools in HCMC.
    Click here to read the original project proposal.

 

The guests attending the Community Event also voted for the theme for the Narrow the Gap Community Event 2014, which will focus on EDUCATION  (145 votes!).

 

I attached some photos and the event program to give you a better idea about our event. Many more photos are on LIN's Narrow the Gap page on https://www.globalgiving.org/dy/v2/pe/progress-report/new.htmlFacebook.  


During the first week of October, three grant agreements were signed with each of the winners and fund transfers were made (Ceporer Hoc Mon and Kim Tu Dien both received 100% of their committed funds while Nhan Ai Social Work Club received the first of three fund transfers, due to the nature of each of their project). In the coming months, LIN will coordinate with its Narrow the Gap partners to schedule visits to each of the three grantees’ project sites and update supporters by way of the Narrow the Gap Fund page on Facebook and Blog. If you are in HCMC or planning to be in HCMC between now and March 2013, please let us know if you would like to join a site visit.

 

LIN achieved three out of four of the objectives that were set for the Narrow the Gap Fund and Event focusing on children’s issues and we partially achieved the fourth objective. Compared with 2012, the community doubled their contributions to the fund and increased their level and depth of participation in the Narrow the Gap program. Nevertheless, based on staff experience and feedback from stakeholders, we identified areas for improvement in 2014. For example, we plan to revise the online voting component to ensure that the focus is on quality and we would also like to find ways to further increase the number of Vietnamese companies participating in the fund and event.

 

 

On behalf of the entire LIN team, I would like to thank you, once again, for your support and for believing that together we can change lives and bring hope to many people in Ho Chi Minh City and our surrounding provinces!

 

For further information, a detailed report (with budget, testimonials, list of donors, etc) is now available on LIN's website (click the link below to access that report).

2nd Place Project - Nhan Ai Club
2nd Place Project - Nhan Ai Club
3rd Place KTD Centre introduces its project
3rd Place KTD Centre introduces its project
Narrow the Gap Community Event
Narrow the Gap Community Event

Links:

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