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.
Sep 21, 2015

HR Professionals Lend a Hand to Local Nonprofits

On the morning of July 25th, LIN Center for Community Development (LIN) organized a Meet & Greet event for local HR profesisonals and their nonprofit counterparts at Hoa Sen University.  This was the first activity of LIN's 2015 Community Partnership Initiative (CPI) program.

With the focus on "building human resource management capacity for local nonprofit organizations (NPO)", CPI 2015 matched 33 skilled volunteers to 11 NPOs experiencing human resource management challenges. The volunteers represented different institutions, including: Orient Software, GreyFinder, Decathlon, Puratos, Proself, Samsung, Kinh Do Corporation, Operation Smile, TalentNet and more....  Participating NPOs included: Thien Tam Huong, CHUM, Quality of Life Promotion Centre, Breast Cancer Network Vietnam, CEPORER Hoc Mon, CCHS, CHANGE, Huynh Tan Phat, Thien An Shelter, TOMAGO and Thao Dan Center for Street Children.

On 25 July, LIN hosted a "Meet & Greet" session for all of the participants in CPI 2015 - more than 50 people. The session was designed to break the ice and help to build friendly emotional links among the participants.

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"Though this session, I realize how I can feel how someone is feeling.  People who are unfamiliar with these types of experiences tend to have cold hands, while those people who are familiar to these activities, their bodies will be warmer", shared Mr Phu (Thien Tam Huong Organization)

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A company representative said: "Through these exercises, I can see that sometimes language does not express what we want to say. By exchanging eye contact, or by touching hands, we can better express our ideas."

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Ms. Le Thanh Phuc, LIN's Volunteer Coordinator and Manager of CPI 2015 explained that the intention of the session was to remove stereotypes and assumptions, which can prove to be barriers between participants who came from companies and those who representatives of NPOs. People participating in CPI will be better able to understand each other as human beings with emotions and thoughts. This launch event built a foundation for teams to listen, exchange and work together to find solutions for HR challenges within the respective NPOs over the course of 12 weeks.

LIN's CPI program was first launched in 2011 and has since become an annual program. CPI appeals to companies and skilled experts to lend their expertise to help build the capacity of local nonprofits in Ho Chi Minh City, so they can better achieve their objectives for the community. 

Links:

Sep 10, 2015

6 Nonprofits Pitch, 3 Advance to the Finals

On Thursday evening, 27 August, six semi-finalists for a grant from the Narrow The Gap Community Fund for Environment pitched their projects to 130 members of the HCMC community in hopes of winning their votes and securing one of just three spots in the final round. The event took place at Hoa Sen University and was organized by LIN Center for Community Development, in collaboration with two local networking event organizers: CrowdPitch Vietnam and Green Drinks Saigon.

At the CrowdPitch event, six not-for-profit organizations alternatively had five minutes to pitch their projects to the crowd, another five minutes to receive live coaching from the expert panel, and five more minutes to engage in Q&A with the audience. During a short break, audience members were asked to cast their vote for the best project.  Meanwhile the panel of experts was given the responsibility to select two projects to advance to the final rounds. The panel of experts included:

  • Dr. Ha Minh Tri: Vice Dean, Faculty of Sociology -Social Work - Southeast Asian Studies, HCMC Open University
  • Ms. Melissa Merryweather: Chair of the Board, Vietnam Green Buildings Council and Joint Chief Organizer, Green Drinks Saigon
  • Ms. Nguyen Tran Anh Chi: Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Starbucks Vietnam

At the end of the event, three projects were announced as finalists for the Narrow the Gap Fund for the Environment. The popular choice, receiving 43 votes from the audience, was a proposal to create a “Community Park” for members of the Deaf Community of Ho Chi Minh City (DCOH). Afterwards, Ms. Chi, Dr. Tri and Ms. Melissa announced that CHANGE’s “Climate Camp” and ECO Vietnam Group’s “For Our Environment” projects would join DCOH in the final round. 

CHANGE’s Climate Camp was selected by the judges to advance to the finals.

The Deaf Community of HCMC’s community garden advanced to the final round with 43 votesfrom the audience. 

ECO-VietnamGroup made a strong pitch for biogas, which impressed the panel of judges.. 

Leaders of these three projects are now busy revising their projects, based on feedback from the experts and audience, and getting ready for the online vote, which will launch on Monday, 14 September, and the offline vote, which will take place during LIN's annual Narrow the Gap Community Event on Saturday, 26 September at the HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities. The online and offline votes will be used to determine the size of the grants allocated to the three finalists.  First place will receive VND 150 million; Second place will receive VND 100 million; and Third place will receive VND 50 million from the Narrow the Gap Fund for the Environment.


Audience asked questions about the six semi-finalist projects 

The jury panel for the semi-final round (Dr. Tri, Ms. Chi and Ms. Melissa - supported by Ms. Ha Mi a volunteer translator)

Thank you so much for contributing to the Narrow the Gap Community Fund for the Environment!  We are now just 50 million shy of our goal to raise VND 300 million by 25 September.

Stay Tuned for more updates...

  • Visit the Narrow the Gap website on 14 September to cast your vote!
  • If you are in HCMC on 26 September, please purchase a ticket to the Narrow the Gap Community Event. Tickets are just VND 200,000 (less than $10 USD).  For more information, please visit: TicketBox.vn

Links:

Jul 30, 2015

June Retreat for Young Nonprofit Leaders

YNLC June Retreat
YNLC June Retreat

On June 27th and 28th, just 45 minutes outside of Ho Chi Minh City, 15 young leaders of nonprofit organizations joined a two-day retreat focusing on "The role of leadership and how leaders can take care of themselves".

The objective of the retreat was to support young leaders that are focused on making a difference in our communities by enhancing their ability to stimulate community engagement and by facilitating peer sharing among organizational leaders and . A special guest speaker was Mr. Yoshitaka Ohara, Founder of Habataku who, in collaboration with Mr. Pham Truong Son, Director of NPO Services at LIN, shared their career paths, the reasons behind choices to work with nonprofit organizations as well as the challenges occuring in their work and and lessons they learned when they were young leaders.

Mr. Pham Thanh Nhon, Founder and Director of 5giosang (a nonprofit partner of LIN since 2009) designed and facilitated the retreat. Through the event, he helped members of LIN's NPO Young Leaders Circle to look at themselves as individuals, explore their strengths and weaknesses and learn how to take care of themsevles as they work to build a stronger community. He also shared with them how to connect and work well as a group.

According to Mr. Son (LIN), "The retreat was an experiment in leadership. Members of the NPO Young Leaders Circle were asked to organize the logistics, find a location for the event, communicate the plan, organize an activity for the whole group, prepare dinner and listen and learn from one another in order to create a harmonious atmosphere."

At the end of the training, the 15 members joined a networking event organized by LIN's Board of Advisors, who invited skilled volunteers and donors from the LIN Community. The event gave the Young Leaders an opportunity to approach and connect with potential supporters. Learning how to build networks is a key objective for the NPO Young Leaders Circle 2015, as the ability to enhance and grow one's network of support is essential to the sustainability of a non-profit organization.

***

Impressions of one member of the NPO Young Leaders Circle 2015:

Ms. Pham Thi Thuy Tien, the youngest member of the group, lives in Ben Tre provice, which is 150 km from Ho Chi Minh City.  It took Ms. Thuy Tien 3 hours to travel to the training, by bus. As it was her 1st time to the training location, she faced some difficulties.  Fortunately, Ms. Thuy Tien received a lot of help from the members of her team (Note: The Young Nonprofit Leaders Circle 2015 was divided into four teams, each electing to be responsible for one key component of the program).

As Ms. Thuy Tien shared afterwards, “This training model is so inspiring and engaging.  Other members in my team helped me so much, they instructed me on how to get there, they shared their ideas and experiences with me. We exchanged so many things over the course of two days...Actually, I learned most about listening skills, how to think twice in real life, especially in realizing, boosting my strength in study, work and life. To live and shared experiences with people who work in the same field is really useful for young people like me.  I have learned how to talk with and better understand different people."

When asked about the networking event, Ms. Thuy Tien added, "This was my first experience to network with potential donors, so I was a bit confused at first about what I should do. But, by observing those around me, I was able to calm myself down. I greeted and talked to people that I never met before. I feel like a stronger person."

"Overall, I really liked this two-day training because it was a unique and special first-time experience for me. I learned so much from my peers and even from people working in fields so different from my own.  It was great to learn from their hands-on experiences. It made me feel more confident, reflecting on myself and assuring me of the career path I have chosen. I am so looking forward to the next event!”

***

The NPO Young Leaders Circle 2015 includes 15 members from 15 of LIN's Nonprofit Partner Organizations.  Among the 15, there are 9 female and 6 male participants ranging in age from 21 to 35 years of age (26 is the average age). The first meeting took place in May, when each member was asked to join one of four small teams responsible for a key component of the program: Communications, Networking, Peer Sharing and Trainings. One LIN staff member is paticipating and one is coordinating the Circle, which will meet at least one time each month from May 2015 until April 2014.

YNLC June Retreat_Group Photo
YNLC June Retreat_Group Photo
YNLC Networking with Philanthropists
YNLC Networking with Philanthropists

Links:

 
   

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