Hello to our Narrow the Gap Fund Supporters!
In this report, we would like to share updates from the three projects that received funds in September 2013 to address the needs of disadvantaged children in and near Ho Chi Minh City. The three grants were made possible thanks to your support in 2013!
Project 1: Clean Water Tower for Children in Long Thuan (Long An Province)
Implemented by Ceporer Hoc Mon with 150 million Viet Nam Dong from Narrow the Gap Community Fund.
Long Thuan is a remote village, located north of Thu Thua District. Travel to and from the hamlet is difcult, the area is prone to regular ooding, drinking water systems are limited and most poor households rely on rain water, rivers and canals for bathing and cooking. Due to aluminum in the river water, it was necessary to do something to provide the 160+ children in this area with safe water.
Construction of one clean water tower that can serve 86 households in the hamlet.
After implementation of the project, 161 children now have access to clean water throughout the year, avoiding infections, skin and gynecological diseases for girls and women. Children have a safer, more stable and sanitary environment and family life. In addition, project staff and volunteers working on the project enhanced their capabilities through participation in the project and with this experience, they can apply the model of this project to other communes in the province.
“We are very happy to have clean water to use instead of alum contaminated water or wait for rain water to fill our tanks, as before. We now have a more convenient and clean water at home, which saves us time and is safer.” - Mr. Thoi (a resident of Long Thuan Village who is benefiting from the project)
“My house and the other houses around here were very concerned about the water. We proposed several times, to the Provincial Committee and to the Commune, for clean water but we did not receive a satisfactory answer. So, when I heard about the Fund’s intention to build a water tower for our community, I volunteered to donate some of my land for the water tower project as I knew it would support my children and the other children in the area. I would like to thank the Narrow the Gap Fund and other supporters who showed their care for the people of Long Thuan, a poor commune in Long An Province.” - Mr. Nam (donor of the land where the clean water tower was built)
Project 2: Accompanying Children in Difficult Circumstances (Ho Chi Minh City)
Implemented by Nhan Ai Social Work Club (volunteer group) with 100 million Viet Nam Dong from Narrow the Gap Community Fund.
To support and assist children in difcult circumstances and street children by offering basic education, future orientation and counseling so they can rise above their difcult lives; provide basic skills to help protect themselves against risky situations, such as the risk of abuse that regularly occur in the lives of these children.
BENEFICIARIES: 200 children
ACTIVITIES220 children were supported, among whom 150 children participated in all project activities.
Nhan Ai supports 137 children who are studying in public school or night class, Nhan Ai also supports more subjects than in the project proposal. Following the last annual report, 3 children were ranked from fair to good students; 110 children were ranked from average to fair; 27 children were ranked weak to average and others increased their academic achievement at school. With more than 45 children over 6 years old being illiterate, by the end of 2014, they all can read, write and make basic calculations. Nhan Ai supported 20 scholarships for 20 disadvantaged children who could not afford tuition fees.
For the Cau Muoi class, we could not nd the venue initially and the classes were temporarily halted, however other activities were still carried out. Now the classes are re-opened and has made good progress. The teachers organized an award ceremony when students have attained academic achievements through preliminary midterm and nal grades. Students with good grades will participate in entertainment trips like watching movies, visiting museums or the zoo. Cau Ong Lanh Ward (District 1) has also agreed to provide venue to support organizing the awards ceremony to close-out the academic year.
To motivate children and teachers to make better progress, So Thung class opened a martial arts class. The So Thung martial arts class is taught at the appropriate level for the children to learn. On Sunday, the volunteers also taught them drawing so they can relax after a long week of studying. Besides, they also taught origami for the children to encourage their creativity and critical thinking.
“I would like to thank the teachers who came to teach us.” - (Beneficiary 1)“I have found my dream after participating in a drawing class.” - (Beneficiary 2)
Project 3: “Let’s Learn” E-book for visually impaired children at shelters, clubs and schools in HCMC.
Implementated by Kim Tu Dien Multilingual Data (KMDC) with 50 million Viet Nam Dong from Narrow the Gap Community Fund.
There is a lack of relevant learning conditions and facilities for visually impaired children who are of school age, especially with regards to textbooks for studying English. With the help of this grant, KMDC is in the process of nalizing a “Let’s Learn” English language learning E-book for visually impaired children.
Direct Beneciaries: Bung Sang Shelter and Mai am Thien An ShelterIndirect Beneciaries: Any visually impaired person who has access to the Internet.
The Let’s Learn curriculum includes 12 units of content to teach English.
TESTIMONIALS:“This project is the first project of great significance to help make it easier for visually impaired children to learn English using a computer. Educational software for children with visual impairment is quite limited. Through implementation of this project, we have a better understanding about the situation of people with visual impairment and their difficulties especially with regards to learning. The project is still in the process of review and testing.
We have not completed the project on schedule due to a number of difficulties. I hope, after deployment, the project can help visually impaired children to learn English and we hope that there may be more initiatives like this one, to support learning by visually impaired children. I would like to thank the Narrow the Gap Community Fund for making it possible to implement this project.” - Mr. Nguyen Minh Tri, IT Project Officer
For more information visit the following linkshttp://linvn.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/chuyen-tham-thuc-dia-den-trung-tam-du-lieu-da-ngu-kim-tu-dien/
Update on Narrow the Gap 2014: Focus on Education
LIN's annual Narrow the Gap Community Event 2014: "Raise Your Hand for Education!” took place on the 23rd of August, in Ho Chi Minh City. Over 400 people attended the event and 399 votes were submitted to decide the amount of each grant the three finalist projects would receive. During the event, a representative of YOLA Education moderated a panel discussion with the three project finalists and all guests were asked to vote to determine the theme for Narrow the Gap 2015 and how the funds raised together would be allocated among the three finalists.
Based on the outcome of those votes, we are allocating the funds raised to the following three projects:
During the event we were thrilled and honored to have Mdm. Ton Nu Thi Ninh - a seasoned diplomat, dedicated politician and an active educational and sociocultural ambassador - give an inspiring keynote speech. She talked about the importance of sharing information and working with others to ensure that everyone has access and benefits from development and progress.
Narrow the Gap Ambassador and Field Medal Winner Professor Ngo Bao Chau also joined the event, which thrilled the crowd and local media. We also had live entertainment by a local acoustic band, interactive booths set-up by local nonprofits, raffle prizes, networking games, education trivia and more.
Please check out the atttached event program. You can also view photos from the event and articles about the event on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NarrowTheGapFund
Thank you, once again, for supporting the Narrow the Gap campaign and helping us to build a stronger community in Ho Chi Minh City!
On June 8th, 2014, LIN and three Narrow the Gap Community Fund supporters met with the Director of the Nhan Ai Social Work Club, which received a grant of 100 million Vietnam Dong (about USD $4,700) to offer tutoring, personality skills training, psychological consultations and life orientation for children from slum areas of HCMC from October 2013 through September 2014. The meeting was scheduled immediately following one of Nhan Ai Club’s big events.
The event was designed as a belated celebration of International Children’s Day (1st of June) and offered an opportunity for club members and volunteers to provide life-orientation for the disadvantaged children they support. The purpose of the meeting between Narrow the Gap supporters and Nhan Ai was to learn how the funded project is being implemented; to share successes, challenges and lessons learned; and to identify areas where further help may be needed.
According to their interrim report, Nhan Ai said they completed 50% of the project, including: purchase educational supplies and a bookshelf with books for students, awards for outstanding volunteers, organization of Mid-Autumn, Christmas and Tet events for the children, training for volunteers on the necessary skills to live and work with disadvantaged children, organization of two outdoor activities – one in Gia Dinh and another in Cau Muoi park; and the most recent field trip and event for children (which took place the same day as the meeting).
Through this project, Nhan Ai Social Club had a chance to engage and collaborate with the headmaster of the Ho Chi Minh Pedagogical University and professors in education, which helped them to solve two big challenges, including: (1) a sudden loss of venue when one partner changed their mind about hosting Nhan Ai's tutoring sessions; and (2) identifying trainers for volunteers that did not have much experience workign with disadvantaged youth.
According to the head of the Club, Mr. Trung: “The tutoring sessions are offered by students from the University of Pedagogy. They offer two kinds of classes: one for the children who must work; and the other for children who are able to attend school. The classes are designed to improve knowledge, check understanding and create opportunities for the children to learn better at school”.
Although the group has had problems in contacting with local government, largely due to the fact that they are volunteer led and did not have a clear understanding about how the justice system works, Nhan Ai Social Club already managed to: help two children enroll into the public education system.
In evaluating the club’s project proposal, Mr. Le Manh Tan, one of the Narrow the Gap donors who joined the meeting stated, “I think this project has a very interesting idea that is teaching everyday living skills and providing emotional support for children with special needs… this is a very good cause […] I congratulate Nhan Ai on their effort, what they are doing is very honorable and meaningful. I admire the effort that Nhan Ai is making.”
[On 9 April, LIN accompanied Charissa Murphy, a Global Giving Volunteer, to one of Nhan Ai's tutoring sessions. The tutoring sessions take place every night of the work week at a Pagoda in Binh Thanh District. We met several university students who were helping 15 or so disadvantaged students, ranging from 10 to 14, with their school work. While they were working with the students, we talked with some of the Nhan Ai team, including the Club Head and two members of the development team. When talking about their future goals, one member said, "Before we just thought of ourselves as a club, but now we would like to opportunity to grow and improve the organization. They are many clubs that are doing charity work or short-term activities. They do not stay dedicated to their work like we do. However, we do not have a strategic plan or sustainable organization. We hope to build that in this year and the year to come."]
ARE YOU READY TO PACK YOUR LUNCH AGAIN?
Remember when we asked you to pack your lunch for children? Well, this time, we would like to ask you to pack your lunch to help us Narrow the Gap in Access to EDUCATION!
Details about our new campaign can be found on the following website:
We also set up a new project page on GlobalGiving and you can access it here:
Last month, Vinh, Nhi and Linh shared their ideas for overcoming barriers to a quality education. Today, we are asking you - and other friends and supporters - to pack a lunch, at least once during the month of June, and donate your savings to LIN's Narrow the Gap Community Fund, so we can invest, together, in great ideas! And post a photo of you making/eating/posing by your homemade lunch right on our facebook or your facebook (use hashtag #linnarrowthegap) to let the world see its lunch heroes.
An anonymous donor is tripling every donation made towards this campaign, up to VND 1 billion. LIN's goal is to raise VND 300 million (about USD $15,000) by mid-August, which would give us over VND 1.2 billion to invest in projects that improve access to education in Ho Chi Minh City.
Whether you donate 50,000 dong (USD $3) or 10 million dong (USD $500 dollars), you automatically become an equal partner in this campaign - your name will be recognized on our website and you will help determine which projects get funded.
Will you pack your lunch with us today?
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
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.
The winners of the three grants were:
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.
Photos from the event, as well as the event program, are attached to give you a better idea about the event. Many more photos are on LIN's Narrow the Gap page on https://www.globalgiving.org/dy/v2/pe/progress-report/new.htmlFacebook.
Next Step - Site Visits!
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). LIN is currently coordinating with the three grantees to schedule visits to the project sites. The first site visit will take place on this Sunday, 15 December. Supporters to the Narrrow the Gap Fund or Event are invited to join a groundbreaking ceremony for the clean water tower in Hoc Mon (Ceporer Hoc Mon). LIN is organizing transportation from HCMC's city center to Long An for anyone interested to join the event. Please contact us at: Donor@LINvn.org to express your interest.
Narrow the Gap Fund supporters (that's you!) can stay up-to-date by joining LIN's Narrow the Gap Fund page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NarrowTheGapFund)
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!
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).
Boy, do we have a lot of news to share!
First, the Narrow the Gap Fund, with the help of over 80 amazing individuals and over 20 generous companies reached its target of VND 300 million ($15,000)!
Second, over 2500 people took part in Narrow the Gap Online Vote, which is 10 times more than were were hoping for! The public vote determined that the three top projects that will receive grants from the Fund are:
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
Still want to help?
Support another project run by LIN Center for Community Development that needs your help, such as:
Ho Chi Minh City,
Ho Chi Minh City,