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 24, 2014

2013 Grantee Reports & Congrats to 2014 Grantees

Project 1: Clean Water Tower
Project 1: Clean Water Tower

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

  • Group 1: 60 children in Cu Mui Ward (District 1) including street children, homeless children and children in difcult circumstances.
  • Group 2: 60 children in S Thùng (Bình Thnh District), including homeless children living in slum areas who are sorting garbage to make money, without the help and support of authorities.
  • Group 3: 70 children at public sector workers in Tan Lap Commune, University Village. And outreach to many children in other areas of Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Group 4: 20 children living around the Bình Triu Bridge area.

220 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 Shelter
Indirect Beneciaries: Any visually impaired person who has access to the Internet.


The Let’s Learn curriculum includes 12 units of content to teach English.

  • 2/2014 Implementation of the demonstration model for Unit 1 (90% complete)
  • [28/2/2014: Narrow the Gap site visit to KMDC.]
  • 3/2014: Edit information for Units 2,3 and 4 (including structural additions to the lesson content, edit the structure to address the needs of visually impaired children)
  • 4/2014: Edit information for Units 5, 6 and 7
  • 5/2014: Edit information for Units 8, 9 and 10
  • 6/2014: Edit information for Units 11 and 12
  • 7/2014: Integration of the contents into a lesson program, test for bugs and make necessary corrections



“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 links


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:

  • First Prize (VND 600 million): Your Understanding Lights Our Life – A project to narrow the gap between the community and visually impaired people (by the Mai An Shelter).
  • Second Prize (VND 400 million): Desire to Integrate – A project to foster communication skills, raise awareness about rights and offer art classes to the hearing impaired community (by the Deaf Community of Ho Chi Minh City).
  • Third Prize (VND 200 million): Enhancing Education for Migrant Children – A project to strengthen the physical state and capacity of migrant children so they can improve their lives (Cau Han Project, Ho Chi Minh Child Welfare Association).

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:

Thank you, once again, for supporting the Narrow the Gap campaign and helping us to build a stronger community in Ho Chi Minh City!

Project 1: Clean Water in Long Thuan!
Project 1: Clean Water in Long Thuan!
Project 2: Nhan Ai Celebrate Children
Project 2: Nhan Ai Celebrate Children
Project 2: Nhan Ai Event for Children
Project 2: Nhan Ai Event for Children
Project 3: KMDC Demos a unit in "Let
Project 3: KMDC Demos a unit in "Let's Learn"


Sep 22, 2014

Volunteer and NPO Orientation Meetings for CPI

 4share and Thien Tam Huong's Orientation meeting

It was nearly 7pm at Dung Dinh café on a rainy day at the beginning of June. The LIN team was ready to meet with the Sex Rights team and their volunteer mentors for the LIN Community Partnership Initiative (CPI) orientation meeting. At 7pm sharp, all participants arrived and the meeting started.

LIN introduced the agenda and the meeting's objectives. Everything went as planned until Ms. Thien Thanh - VNG Marketing Manager, leader of the mentoring group, raised her voice, "I think we should consider another name for Sex Rights Group."

"The name?" questioned the other members. This year's CPI is focused on financial sustainability; however, the mentor team started asking about the group's name, their human resources, core activities and legal status...

Ms. Thanh explained that although progress has been made, it is still taboo to mention "sex" or sex-related topics in daily conversation. The sensative name of the organization thus might make it difficult for them to communicate with their stakeholders. She then moved on to explaining the importance of a well planned structure for a fledgling not-for-forfit organization like the Sex Rights group. At the end of the meeting, everyone agreed that the house of "Financial Sustainability" would need to be build on its essence.


In another meeting, Mrs. Hong To Hue Lan, Founding Director of Ceporer Hoc Mon, surprised her team by speaking fluent French with two sponsors who were visiting the shelter. Larger than all the plans and efforts she had done following LIN's suggestions, Mrs. Lan did teach us a lesson: "The string that is connecting beneficiaries and sponsors is not made from ink and a well-thought out plan but from the language they can speak together, heart to heart."

Cám on các chuyên gia tình nguyen ã tham gia buoi hop luong giá giua ky voi LIN



No. 5                                                                                                           21/8/2014

Cám on các chuyên gia tình nguyen ã tham gia buoi hop luong giá giua ky voi LIN

Update on CPI:

Update 1: Team Cimigo Vietnam - Tinh Than Network
Due to personnel changes, the current team does not have enough capacity to continue its participation in the CPI. 
Update 2: Important Milestones
See the below diagram detailing the team's status as 

September 20th: Deadline to submite fundraising tools, including (1) A fundraising plan for 2014 and the next 3 years, (2) a 3 year summary of fundraising ideas; (3) Report on fundraising activities that were performed during the CPI.
October 17th: CPI Awards Ceremony (6:00 PM-8:00 pm)

Update 3: New Volunteer Coordinator at LIN
As of 01 September, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Truc is on temporary leave from LIN to pursue a Masters Degree in Orgnaizational Development from the University of Dublin. In her place, LIN recruited Mr. Nguyen Minh Nhat who is settling in nicely.  
Anh Minh will take over Truc's responsibilities for managing the participating CPI teams.


Aug 29, 2014

How NPOs can solve problems using Action Learning

HSBC Nhan Ai

HSBC Volunteers meet with Nhan Ai Volunteer Group (NPO) & Rio Group (Skilled Volunteers)

As part of LIN's Community Partnership Initiative 2014 (CPI 2014), which is designed to enhance NPO's financial sustainability, HSBC bank in Vietnam organized fove Action Learning training sessions for five NPOs on the 14th, 21st, and 28th of June.

The sessions' agenda focused on solving current obstacles through the Action Learning Method, by channeling the participants' knowledge and experiences into the most effective solution for complicated problems. The "father" of this method, Professor Reginald Revans, explained that Action Learning is asking the appropriate questions at the right moment and coming to action.

With their respective training experience in HSBC Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Viet Anh and Mr. Nguyen Lan alternatively acted as "Coach", and applied the Action Learning method in every meeting. In each session, the NPO played the role of the "Problem Presenter", while eight other members, including HSBC staff and each of the NPO's skilled volunteers, played the role of the "Questioners". There were also observers from other NPOs. Consistent with the Learning by Doing approach, the rule to "only ask; or only answer the previous question" was strictly followed. Solutions to problems of NPOs appeared after each 3-hour meeting, and many paths created to building a better future for the organizations.

HSBC Nhan Ai 2

After using the Action Learning, Mrs. Hong To Hue Lan, head of Ceporer Hoc Mon, said "I have gained insight into some of the practical ways to develop the organization; from writing down all processes and strategies as a social entrepreneur, to recruiting outstanding personnel for administration, and to researching the building path for the social enterprise via Internet and erudite professionals."

Mrs. Le Thi Thu Thuy, director of Thao Dan Child Center, another NPO that joined the Action Learning, can define precisely the essence of their drawbacks. She said, "I believe our financial problem originates from the lack of professionalism in administration. After this training, I will reconstruct the human resource department, standardize evaluation and head towards investing into a business project in the near future."

Meanwhile, volunteers believe that the method is a new problem-solving approach, but the 3-hour-or-more meeting reduces concentration. There are some elements to this method that are far from practice and is a gap that needs closing through positive thinking and a "change-daring" spirit. However, its impacts are undeniably effective. From the participants' contribution, NPOs can start removing current barriers and start witnessing the upcoming changes towards a better direction.



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