Danang Web & Graphic Design student Phuc
Do you know what your support is accomplishing? Over 82% of graduates from the most recent batches have attained stable jobs, averaging a starting monthly salary of nearly 3 million VND, or $140. REACH is currently training 515 students, 45% of them female, at five training centres throughout north and central Vietnam. We are also thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership with the Hilton Hanoi Opera and Garden Inn, InterContinental West Lake, and Sheraton Hanoi hotels under the Youth Career Initiative (YCI), to provide 33 disadvantaged and at-risk youth tuition-free training in the hospitality industry. You can learn more about the YCI Vietnam country program at http://youthcareerinitiative.org/globalpresence/vietnam.aspx.
All REACH students are from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those whose families live in extreme poverty and cannot afford access to further education anywhere else. Meet two such REACH Web & Graphic Design students currently training at the Danang centre:
Nguyen Dac Phuc
Phuc is a 21-year-old young man from Danang. Though his family has lived there for over 90 years, they still rent a room in a poor neighbourhood because they have never been able to afford to buy a house or apartment. His father has never had a stable job in Phuc’s lifetime: he works a variety of odd jobs, from being a xe om driver to doing occasional deliveries to market stands. If he’s lucky, he will make just 500,000 VND (less than $25) per month. Phuc’s mother is a street vendor, starting work at 5am every day to buy cakes and candies to resell. She makes just a bit more at 600,000 VND (about $30) per month.
To help support his family, Phuc left school like his older sister. Apart from helping his mother sell cakes, all he could find was seasonal work at an outdoor café. Fortunately, a friend who had graduated from REACH told him about the Web & Graphic Design course in Danang. After passing an interview and a family visit, Phuc was admitted and qualified for a meal allowance for the duration of the course.
Finances are still tight, and Phuc wakes up early before class to help his mother, as well as on weekends to work a side-job at a café to support the family income while he studies. But through the Web & Graphic Design program he is learning to use state-of-the-art software like Photoshop and Corel Draw, as well as conversational English to gain in-demand employable skills. When he graduates in November 2013, Phúc is optimistic that with the assistance of REACH’s career placement service he will be able to find a stable job as a designer and provide a steady income for his family.
Bao Nhat Duy
Duy is 20 years old, also from Danang. His father died when he was 6, and his mother struggles to bring home a steady income. For 10 hours a day, Duy’s mother helps his aunt peel onions and garlic to earn between 800,000 and 1 million VND (between $40 and $50) per month.
After high school, Duy was caught in the double trap of being unemployed and also unable to afford further education. As a result, he was forced to move in with his grandmother for financial reasons. When he was finally introduced to REACH by a Web & Graphic Design alumnus who now works full-time for an international firm, Duy immediately seized the opportunity and applied. Even before being enrolled, he went to cyber café daily to self-teach himself in Photoshop. Now a month into his course, Duy is well on his way to realizing his dream of following in his friend’s footsteps, and working for a renowned design company.
Keep supporting REACH students! Starting September 16th, REACH is kicking off its second GlobalGiving fundraiser campaign to reach our project’s goal of $20,000 and train a total of 40 disadvantaged youth to get secure jobs. Your support continues to achieve a real, measurable impact. Simply go to REACH’s GlobalGiving project page and donate now!
Thank you for your continued support!
Danang Web & Graphic Design student Duy
Opening ceremony of the Youth Career Initiative