Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth

by REACH
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Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth
Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth

The youth from mountainous areas has long had limited access to vocational opportunities because of the enormous distance. Acknowledging those obstacles, REACH has built up a network of local partners in Lai Chau Province such as the Department of Education, Youth Union, etc. This is a mountainous province with 20 minority ethnic groups.

In QII 2022, REACH implemented an Online Marketing course in Vocational Training Center Than Uyen District, Lai Chau Province. There were 30 minority ethnic youth aged 15-30 who attended training with the gender structure was 50% female and 50% male.

In 2 months of training from May 2022 to July 2022, students were equipped with practical lessons from trainers who had real experience in Sales and Marketing, especially in Online Marketing. Students had an opportunity to study 60 sessions with 4 training hours for each in the classroom equipped with computers. Students were asked to practice taking photos and livestream to sell their local specialties. They also started to access e-commerce platforms such as Shopee. Throughout the 2-month course, students grasped sufficient practical skills to immediately become a salesman, contribute to selling their hometown’s specialties, and start their own business after graduation.

This class was expected to build the first step of REACH’s localized training plan for the upcoming years to reach out to more prospective students. 

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REACH has been focusing on gender quality in recruiting and training as we have been promoting our media message and offering tuition-free to female IT students. REACH also has organized Gender mainstreaming training to REACH trainers and staff. The Gender training was expected to improve trainers and staff’s awareness and skills in integrating gender quality into training and class management. 

Despite the stereotype that females are difficult to work in the technology fields, the growing number of IT female students is one of the positive results of REACH’s efforts toward gender equality in vocational training. Di is one of our graduates who succeeded to overcome the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic to explore and build up herself in graphic design. She was born and raised in a mountainous village near the border of Dien Bien province, Vietnam where there is only farming and almost no source of income. Her family with her five siblings, parents and grandfather is a big family like other families in her hometown.

“My childhood was only associated with going to the fields in the morning, going to school in the afternoon, tending buffaloes on weekends, wandering around in the mountains without thinking about the future. When I was in secondary school, my classmates in the village all dropped out of school to help their parents work in the fields. At that time, I was the only one who went to school with a super big dream that I would try to study to become a kindergarten teacher in the future or to become a doctor to wear pure white clothes and treat the poor.” – Di said

After graduating from high school, Di also prepared for a dream of becoming a doctor, but due to economic difficulties and no specific direction, she had to give up right from the first step.

One day, when Di was surfing on Facebook and saw a post shared by REACH. She accessed to REACH page and researched courses at REACH. “I was worried but I decided to choose 3D Modelling because I see that nowadays, information technology is very popular. I live in a mountainous area where it is difficult to access technology but I decided to endeavor because the more I don’t know the more I need to try.” – Di shared

“When I was announced that I was accepted, I was really happy but I was also worried if I would be able to study well this 3D course. I even faced many difficulties and I wanted to give up but I overcame those obstacles with the support from REACH, my main teacher, and my classmates”. – Di continued

During her studying at REACH, she received life skills, interview skills, work readiness skills training, etc, and participated in events at REACH. “I was able to renew myself and REACH is like my second home”. – Di said

With a market-driven curriculum and a clear career orientation from trainers, Di succeed to find a job at a company that specialized in furniture construction with an income of 5,670,000 VND (about 250 USD) per month. It is a positive figure for her.

“My job is quite brainy and it requires high attention to detail which asks me to try to learn more. It helps me to improve my observation and working skills. My colleagues are extremely friendly, everyone is sociable and non-discriminatory. It is a good environment for me to develop”. – Di happily shared

“I am trying to learn more from my colleagues to gain more knowledge and I will study a higher level of graphics, I want to become a successful designer in the future” – Di added

Message from Di to her fellows “Learning is a very important thing to start your future journey if you still do not know what to study and what to do. Come to REACH!”

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Despite the difficult situations of the pandemic, REACH has maintained vocational training and received positive results. In 2021, 1105 youth were enrolled (included 6-month, 3-month, and short courses) in 5 training locations: Hanoi, Hai Duong, Hue, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City. 733 students completed their training; 248 students are on their training; 72% graduates were placed in employment despite the fact that 800,000 businesses closed and the Hospitality sector offered few jobs in the whole year. Of that 72%(who had jobs), 56% receiving an income that was higher than the minimum wage defined by the government; 78% had an income increase comparing to before participating in the program. REACH also conducted the quality of life survey on our graduates. The survey showed that 77.35% of surveyed people reported to have the quality of life improved after they completed the training.

Families of the students are indirect beneficiaries who will be financially supported by the students placed at jobs. The total number of family members who have benefited from the program are 6,678 people as our data on students’ documents.

Encountering the fourth COVID-19 outbreak started in April 2021 which not only severely impacted the economy, human lives, and business but also interrupted classroom training and official workplaces, REACH has managed to maintain the current program in various forms. REACH opened and conducted 3-month courses Food and Beverages, Cooking, Hairdressing, Sales and Marketing and Graphic Design and 6-month courses which were 3D Modelling and Code Web for prospective labour demand as these sectors are forecast to have sky-high demand of labour in early 2022 when Vietnam may successfully control the pandemic. For people living with disabilities, REACH opened Hairdressing for Deaf, Massage Therapy and Customer Services for Blind in Step Up Project.

REACH also initiated courses of less than 01-month: Basic Marketing Online, Food Arts and Sales & Marketing and Photoshop Online. These courses are offered to REACH alumni who lost jobs during COVID and for disadvantaged youth to provide them additional skills to make some income and prepare for post-Covid-19 job requirements.

Besides the vocational training program, the sharp growth of REACH real estate visual social enterprise VIEWZZ and the effective integration of EM Hair Salon and Hair Dressing Class have been positive results in the pandemic circumstances. Established in 2018, VIEWZZ now not only sustained but also achieved 300% growth rate compared to the same period of last year. Da Nang office was opened with a dynamic 3D team contributing to the above-mentioned rate. REACH also has started an apprenticeship program at VIEWZZ for 3D Modelling classes in Hanoi and Da Nang.

Established in 2016, EM HAIR SALON has been a harmonious combination between business and training by organizing class and salon in the same building. The Hairdressing trainer is also the Salon Manager. The salon staffs are former students who has solid professional skills to be the main hairdressers. Current students support basic tasks such as cleaning, hair washing and support harder tasks such as colouring and modelling.

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Most of us get support from our parents, at least until we are 18. This creates what we usually call childhood”. It is a period when you sleep, eat and play without worrying about the future.

However, with orphans, it is a completely different story. 

Hai’s childhood was nothing but darkness and agony. Born in 1995, in Quang Ninh province, his parents left him at 11 so he was raised by a neighbor until he became independent. He worked as a server in restaurants and Internet Cafes. But due to constant illness and the harsh conditions, Hai struggled to maintain the job. 

“I was very depressed, so I decided to leave my hometown and go to Ha Noi,” he said.

Compared to his hometown, Ha Noi had more opportunities but was also very competitive. This made finding work difficult, especially being young and without a formal education.

Acknowledging the deficiency in his ability, Hai decided to temporarily quit work to study at REACH. He chose to follow his passion: Web coding, something that an orphan normally could not dream to pursue.

Recalling his time at REACH, Hai says that over 6 months he felt like he was living in a second home and the teachers were like parents. They were sincere and enthusiastic, and they always helped Hai whenever he needed support. Besides academic lessons, Hai also got the chance to learn many other things from life skills, green skills, and English, to writing a CV and preparing for job interviews.

From a shy, defensive student, Hai has come to be much more loving and active. He is honest about his past but has never allowed it to be an excuse for his future.

“He was a great student, eager to learn and eager to help others. He had been trying so hard to become a good coder,” Nguyen, web coding teacher commented.

After graduation, Hai is now working for an IT company name Foolab as a coder. His basic salary is 7 million VND. The company itself is young and dynamic which urges Hai to try even harder in his work. Hai now sees saw his future with much brighter eyes.

“No more doing basic labor, no more fear, no more hopelessness,” he said. “Just a few beautiful, vivid templates to create.”

Hai has changed himself from an orphan to a coder. And REACH is proud to be a part of his transformation. This is our mission and the vision we share for the future.

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No electricity, based in the middle of nowhere, and as remote as the end of the world. This is the place that Nam comes from, a small village of 22 H’Mong families in Dien Bien province.

Being unconnected with the national power network, Nam’s parents have a temporary micro-hydro plant, that utilizes the water flow from the stream near their house and made of raw materials collected within the village. Electricity generated and conserved all day long is just enough for running basic appliances for a short time, such as lights or a TV - the only thing that connects them to the other parts of the world.

This is being considered as an industrial revolution for adults in the village who had lived in the dark for decades. However, it is not enough at all for curious children growing up in the generation of information technology like Nam.

“When I was a typical kid, being passionate about superman characters, my cousin and I watched these shows on TV for hours in day time,” Nam smiles, remembering this funny memory from his childhood. “When my parents came back from farming, there was no electricity left for lighting the house and cooking dinner.”

Life without electricity is very difficult. It has held his village back from the world.

Young people in the village at Nam’s age do not have many opportunities. Many of them choose to get married early and give birth at sixteen, or earlier. The cycle of disadvantage repeats generation after generation.

“We have so far lived hard on farming,” Nam says. “We do not even have sufficient soil for crops in that rocky mountainous land.”

Yet, Nam always believed that there must be pathways for himself and villagers to escape the cycle of disadvantage. He, therefore, left the village and registered in the 3D course at REACH in September 2020. He wanted to be a good example for his community in creating life changes.

“I really wish my community will have better living conditions, and the children will be better educated,” he says.

The desire and determination to change has helped Nam overcome many challenges he faced in the training as well as the first time he lived independently in a big city. It has been six months, and from a person who had never used a computer before, he is now able to draw lively and colorful 3D graphics easily with a mouse and a keyboard. He has some of the most wanted skills and is ready to join the IT workforce.

Talking about his community, Nam hopes one day in the near future, his village will be connected with an electricity network so he can set up a business in his hometown and create jobs for young people in his remote community just like him.

In Viet Nam, there are about 9 million people living under extreme poverty (WB, 2018). The majority of them fall in ethnic minority communities that are based in rural and remote areas. Poverty, underdeveloped education conditions, and a high prevalence of unemployment and underemployment has created a number of problems for youth in these communities. These  include school dropouts, child marriage, and human traficking.

REACH’s vocational training and job placement program contributes to improve living conditions of ethnic minority youth and their families. Over the last 2 years, REACH has trained 260 youth from EM groups all across Vietnam.

Help us to train and place more in secure employment.

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REACH

Location: Hanoi, Hanoi City - Vietnam
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Project Leader:
REACH VIETNAM
Hanoi, Vietnam
$103,170 raised of $200,000 goal
 
833 donations
$96,830 to go
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