Dec 10, 2019

You have made this possible in 2019!

Rise of the Floor, one of three selected projects
Rise of the Floor, one of three selected projects

Dear valued supporters,

On 26th October, Narrow The Gap Community Day was successfully organized to select 3 outstanding projects which were awarded with a grant of up to 150,000,000 VND per project, for Round 2, 2019. Click here to read more about three projects.

After almost 1 month of open online voting from the public and community there had been a total of 9,358 votes received. This Round of Narrow the Gap had 6 finalist community development projects that are solving diverse issues relating to education, gender, green energy and people living with a disability. At the event, representatives of 6 organizations had the opportunity to pitch their projects and discuss details directly with attendees and the Grant Allocation Committee. Many realistic questions related to the project were raised enthusiastically by the audience.

We sat down with two selected projects to learn about their journey with Narrow The Gap, and what impacts the program has on their projects & community.

Sy, CEO of Frogleap, one of three projects which received grants this Round, shared with us:

"In 2016, a member of Frogsleap introduced us to the LIN Center (LIN) where she was working. The first support we had from LIN was a warehouse to store our program materials, and Frogsleap gradually became more and more connected with LIN's activities;, taking part in Narrow The Gap program 3 times, joining annual networking events or trainings for nonprofits from 2016-2019. We came to significantly appreciate the term "local people addresses local's needs" from all the trainings & connections with other nonprofit organizations and businesses organized by LIN. This message was then often mentioned in our team discussions about how to choose the right way for running our organization or volunteering, so far increasing the belief and motivation of team members in volunteering until now. This is the reason for Frogsleap to keep trying in our ways to voluntarily support the community until now."

Ms Mong from PFLAG, another project selected to receive the grant this Round told us:

"In 2017, I started to engage with LIN's Narrow The Gap program, hoping to find more funding for our activities. This is the first social project that my organization ever wrote a proposal for. I learned a lot from the program's training sessions about writing proposals. It made me realized that I was not so good at writing projects and social programs, thanks to trainings provided by Narrow The Gap, I have improved a lot. It helps me become more confident in thinking, testing my abilities and the most great encouragement is enabling my positive thinking "Never give up, there will be better luck next time."

In 2019, at the beginning, I still wasn't decided whether to participate or not because I felt that I was not good enough and that my internal organization was still not ready. But after I've joined LIN's Impact Accelerator program, I learned and gained the energy, I decided to write a project to find more funding for the organization.

When the project got selected, everyone in our community is very happy, with all the support & encouragement. The thinking of every individual in the group has changed to be more positive, more diligent, more active and more united. My organization puts away all the individual interests to unite & focus on the project. My team received a lot of support and connection from Narrow The Gap. We were able to organize more activities for the community thanks to the connections with other organizations."

We also asked one of Grant Allocation Commitee members for Narrow The Gap, Round 2, Mr Son from KPMG Vietnam (one of our key partners & sponsors for Narrow The Gap), what he thinks about the program, he said:

"The Community Event is very useful for the community to better understand what social projects are dealing with, and have a more comprehensive view of funding coming from the community, from donors. How to help specific projects. Also, it is an opportunity for sponsors and businesses to identify the aspects that they are capable of supporting such as professional knowledge, finance, and in kind support; creating conditions for them to have the opportunity to interact and connect with social organizations. 6 projects have their strengths and challenges. For this year, the ability to write project proposals and presentations of organizations is quite equal, the access issues are also very diverse.”

This is our last report of 2019, one year has been gone with many different emotions, everyday we are happy, touched, inspired and encouraged by many amazing people in the community such as yourself. We definitely could not have come this far without your donation support. Thanks to you, we were able to provide a total of 9 grants to local nonprofits who working restlessly to address local issues in Vietnam and improve the lives of many underprivileaged communities in 2019.

Please stay tuned for more exciting updates about our upcoming plans and activities of Narrow The Gap 2020 with the theme "Planet" following the aspiration of 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations. We hope you continue to accompany us on this journey!

For more information and real time updates from Narrow The Gap, please follow our page at https://www.facebook.com/NarrowTheGapProgram/

If you have any questions about Narrow the Gap, please feel free to contact me at kelly.vo@linvn.org.

In the meantime, we wish you a meaningful & joyful holiday season with your loved ones!

Sincerely,

Vo Ngoc Tuyen (Kelly)

Head of Corporate Partnerships & Fundraising

Links:

Oct 25, 2019

Fostering Cross-Sector Partnerships

Workshop at LIN's 2019 Cross-Sector Conference
Workshop at LIN's 2019 Cross-Sector Conference

Dear valued donors, partners and friends,

 

In the last few months we have been asking our local nonprofit partners what impact they have experienced after attending LIN’s Annual Cross Sector Conference: Partnerships - Impact - Sustainability in May 2019.

Let’s hear from some of LIN’s partners about their experience from attending LIN’s Annual Cross Sector Conference in 2019. How have cross-sector connections had an impact for them?

 

Ms Huong is from Cau Han Project, which supports at risk children and their families to learn about health issues such as HIV and other community issues. She was a participant at this year's Conference and was willing to share her experience in making connections and meeting potential partners:

“At the conference, I participated in discussions and met many partners including NPOs, businesses and journalists. I am particularly interested in the field of education and the responsibility of businesses in the overall development of society. I think some of the results came from the conference: - We can listen to the views of businesses for NPOs - What is the best way for NPO to work with businesses? - In addition, I am inspired by the leadership style "A leader is a person who inspires others, helps individuals develop their capabilities. Each person can be a leader in our organization." After the conference: I become more confident when communicating. I also have more networks to work on education. Our organization is more confident working with businesses. In July 2019, for the first time, we signed a project to work with local businesses ("Improve the quality of education for disadvantaged children in District 7").” - Ms Huong, Cau Han Project.

 

Ceporer Hóc Môn is a local nonprofit and NPO partner of LIN, that works with vulnerable and homeless children in Hóc Môn district. At the 2019 Conference, Ms Lan, the Founder of Ceporer Hóc Môn met a speaker at the event who works for an MNC with growing operations in Vietnam. Ms Lan connected them with an environmental INGO which is already supporting Ceporer Hóc Môn with their fundraising. Now the MNC and the environmental INGO and Ceporer Hóc Môn are all looking into a collaborative project together to build 6 much-needed fresh water wells to provide safe water for the communities in Long An Province in the Mekong Delta.

 

CHANGE is a local environmental NPO and a partner of LIN. Last year at the 2018 Conference, Ms Hong, Founder & Executive Director of CHANGE Vietnam, shared how her perspective towards the private sector changed over time:

“Years ago, we used to think that business and corporations are the causes of the environment’s problems. But then we realize that, in fact, they could be a big part of the solutions, so we’ve started to engage with them, we’ve been working with their CSR programs for many years” - Ms Hong, Founder & Executive Director of CHANGE Vietnam, at LIN’s Annual Conference 2018 “How Doing Good is Good for Buisness”

This year, at LIN’s Annual Cross-Sector Conference 2019: Partnerships – Impact – Sustainability, Ms Nhi, the Managing Director of CHANGE came as a participant and left with a big ‘take away’. The contacts she met and the topics discussed lead CHANGE to develop their 4 year strategic plan to include exploring cross-sector partnerships. Ms Nhi Thoi shared that previously CHANGE had been thinking that NPOs must play solo and stay within their sector. But through opportunities like the Conference, CHANGE has become open to collaboration with corporates and local government, as they have seen evidence that these sectors are willing to be helpful and supportive of NPOs and their work.

“The conference helped us, along with other NPOs to have a broad look at the current CSR situation of other companies, corporations in Vietnam and was able to listen to the businesses about qualities and operations of individual units, open up many opportunities for new connections with other businesses in the future. Here, we also had a chance to learn and were inspired by the startup stories, missions, and visions of other NPOs that has the same starting point and background. We realized the importance and feel comfortable, and more open towards multilateral cooperation to bring positive changes, and sustainability to the community. Thank you LIN for bringing us the opportunity to connect and learn.” - Ms Nhi, Managing Director, CHANGE, at LIN’s Annual Conference 2019.

 

We have also been busy preparing for our next Cross-Sector event on 21 November 2019: "Transformation of Community Development in Vietnam"

At this event we will be exploring how local nonprofits have been implementing and transforming their community development approaches, and how SMEs build their CSR programs and promote these activities. It is a chance to learn, discuss and connect across sectors with leaders from nonprofits and businesses in Vietnam.

Cross-sector partnerships between nonprofits, businesses, communities, government, philanthropists, and volunteers are key to sustainable development in Vietnam. Everyone, including interested individuals and philanthropists like you, have something to share, whether it is time, money, expertise, resources, networks, and of course, passion and commitment to making a difference. Please click here to learn more about the event and register to join us!

 

Thank you for your kind donations throughout the year. It has helped us to continue the work we do to support local nonprofit organizations and partnerships in Vietnam. If you enjoyed these shared stories from our nonprofit partners and would like to see more positive change, please donate:

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/journeyofaphilanthropist/

 

If you have any questions about LIN or our programs, please feel free to contact me directly at kelly.vo@linvn.org.

 

Sincerely,

Kelly Vo - Head of Corporate Partnerships & Fundraising.

Links:

Sep 12, 2019

When local people addresses local needs!

One of the installed solar power systems
One of the installed solar power systems

Dear GlobalGivers,  

Hello again! It has been three months since we updated you about the winners of Round 1, Narrow The Gap 2019. In last August and September, we visited two of the winning projects to listen to people on the ground who are working restlessly to serve their communities and those directly benefited from these projects.

Round 1 Narrow the Gap 2019

Mr Hoai - Chairman of the Disabled People Club in Soc Trang Province, project manager of ‘Supporting small-capacity solar power systems for poor households in Chau Thanh District, Soc Trang Province’ shared:

"Because I used to live in a house without electricity, when I volunteered in the remote areas of Chau Thanh district, Soc Trang province, I found many poor households who also did not have electricity like I used to. So I wanted to develop a project to provide solar power to support these households. [I] was introduced to Narrow The Gap Program by Vice Chairman of the Disabled People's Association of Can Tho City, I decided to write the project proposal and was lucky to eventually win the fund. I had to figure out how the project would last as long as it could.

After the solar power systems were installed, all the households are very excited. Electrical systems have helped change their lives. They have switched from using only kerosene lamps to electric lights from the solar power for night-time activities. Seeing this happening, our project team feels very happy. Talking about difficulties, the most difficult time when creating project is to survey the households in needed. Because with one leg of disability, it is difficult for me to access households in remote areas as the road is not convenient for people with disabilities, and checking the information provided by households always needs support from the local authorities. 

From working on this project, I personally gained more experience in buying and using batteries that [are] durable and economical, working with local authorities and improving training for local technical support people." 

Ms Lai, in Chau Thanh, Soc Trang Province, from one of 10 households which received the solar power system under the project shared: I'm 87 years old this year. There are four people in my family, I'm the main worker in my home. My husband is sick and can't go to work. We have two children, one of whom is living with disabilities, the other works for other people. I used only oil lamps before, but now I can use the solar lights thanks to the project. I feel very happy. Our family is poor. I have only been able to buy one lamp. If I have money, I will buy more lights."

Narrow the Gap team also met the leaders of ‘Project Incubator for Young Social Entrepreneurs - PISE - Project’ in Can Tho province - the project aims to support equal opportunities for students in the countryside.  

The first summer camp of PISE was the summer camp at Nguyen Quang Dieu gifted school. The event provided 15 mentees who are students in Dong Thap and some students in other areas. PISE has also launched 5 sub-projects. The initial success of PISE does not only support 15 mentees to build 5 sub-projects, but also the individual mentees who are inspired to study and do useful activities for the community, and who have improved knowledge and skills through the training and mentoring programs of PISE.

Round 2 Narrow the Gap 2019

As for Round 2, we will have the results of the 6 finalists on September 20, 2019 from the help of our skilled volunteers in Grant Allocation Committee. The informed finalists will present their projects on Community Day, 26 October 2019 in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Please stay tuned for more updates from our final 6 projects as well as Community Day event where you will learn about the full result and this round's winners in our next report! 

Your important support and donation allow this program to continue. Thanks to you, we can ensure local nonprofit organizations in Vietnam will continue to receive the necessary support and funding opportunity from Narrow The Gap! 

For more information and real time updates from Narrow The Gap, please follow our page at https://www.facebook.com/NarrowTheGapProgram/

If you have any questions about Narrow the Gap, please feel free to contact me at kelly.vo@linvn.org.

Sincerely,

Vo Ngoc Tuyen (Kelly)

Head of Corporate Partnerships & Fundraising 

Links:

 
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