Life-changing jobs for deprived Vietnamese youth

by REACH Vetted since 2012 Site Visit Verified

"2017 was a year of milestones for REACH!

REACH's mission is to address the ongoing needs of the most disadvantaged youth across Vietnam and empower them. This has inspired each and every of REACH’s staff with a burning desire to bring hopes to the beneficiaries. Our work in 2017 highlighted our ongoing development which meant more lives have been touched and more life-changing opportunities have been provided." - Tam P.T, REACH's Executive Director

Our 2017 courses

REACH's core program, LABS, was initiated by Plan International in 2004. It aims to address the high rates of unemployment among Vietnamese youth through targeted training that aligns with industry skill deficits. It delivers a program of standardized vocational training curriculum followed by job placement and support through six months monitoring and mentoring. REACH conducts three LABS intakes each year, with courses running between 15 and 24 weeks and spanning nine training areas. Our goals are to skill students and equip them for sustainable employment. We target for an 80% outcome of graduates measured at six months after graduation.

In 2017 - our 13th year of LABS operating, 1190 disadvantaged youth accessed to our training programs.  Our broadly-based curriculum embraces not only technical contents but also fundamental life-skills set, Green skills, and English language education. These equip our graduates well for sustainable employment. Overall, 87% of our graduates earned a job after completing courses provided by REACH. Their sustainable employment can also be attributed to our 6-month job monitoring and mentor. More importantly, 81% of our graduates reported an improvement in their life quality which reflects our goals to social impact as we empower youth and bring positive changes to their lives.

Sales and Marketing

Sales and Marketing was one of REACH's first courses. It continues to be one of the most successful courses.  This year, its graduation rates reached a high of 95%. Our students undertook their own business projects as part of their training instead of taking internships. Some of these projects assisted to promote sales at our Social Enterprises, KOI Bento and EM Hair Salon.  Through these projects, our Sales and Marketing trainees obtained invaluable business experience which gave them insights into their future jobs. 

Hairdressing

Of the 46 trainees who signed themselves up to our 3 hairdressing batches in 2017, 43 accomplished 14 weeks of salon-standard training.  This training not only equipped the youth with professional skills of hairdressing but also provided them with other essential customer services, communication and salon management skills. After 6 months after graduation, 85% of our hairdressing graduates were still in employment.

Cooking

This year, 65 out of 67 enrolled trainees have graduated from cooking courses provided by REACH.  This high rate (97%) can be attributed to our training priorities in Japanese and Asian cuisine. Our potential Japanese chefs were also engaged in real tasks to sharpen their skills during training by engaging with our social enterprise, Koi Bento. This included assisting our chefs to prepare a lunch buffet for over 100 people at a conference and making Bento boxes for more than 150 people including HSBC and REACH students at a charity event, 'Love Filled Spring'.

Housekeeping

121 housekeeping trainees have graduated from REACH’s training courses in Da Nang and Hue in the past year. Significantly nine new partnering resorts/hotels offering 4-5 star services have committed to join our partner network. This will provide more employment opportunities for our graduates of coming batches.  2017 also brought us wonderful news that many of our alumni have been promoted to supervisor/manager positions in prestigious hotels and resorts.

3D Modelling

2017 marked a milestone for our 3D Modelling training. Launched in late 2016, one batch completed the six-month course. Of the 15 trainees who took up the course, 13 (87%) completed what is considered to be a difficult and skill-demanding area.  Positive employment rates of 3D Modelling graduates at 92.3% give us confidence in a bright prospect for this course into the future. It also serves to inspire us to take up the challenge of training students in areas of new technology. These are the jobs of the future for the youth in Vietnam.

Graphic Design

In total, 201 disadvantaged youth were admitted to nine Graphic Design training batches making Graphic Design the second most popular course in REACH’s LABS program throughout 2017. Upon completion of the course, our trainees were able to master professional software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to design various media and advertisement products.Figures indicated 85.8% of our graduates got employed after finishing their Graphic Design courses at REACH.

Food & Beverage

Remaining the most popular course in our LABS program, Food & Beverage took 516 disadvantaged youth in its training programs this past year.  485 (94%) trainees have completed the training. In addition to professional and Vietnam Tourism Occupational Standard (VTOS) training, tens of hours of English language education were also provided to our trainees to increase their competitiveness in the industry.

Coding

Introduced in mid-2017, Coding is one of the most intensive courses offered by REACH.  Its comprehensively developed curriculum engaged in-depth consultation with industry experts in accredited IT companies such as Br24 and ArrowHiTech. 16 trainees successfully completed REACH’s first Coding course and were awarded certificates in early February 2018. This new technology course and its success is the testament to REACH's mission in providing training that addresses the skill shortages in Vietnam's growing economy.

Beauty, Spa & Make-up

This course was exclusively delivered to trainees in REACH's Hue center. In 2017, there were 3 batches conducted. These courses totaled 48 trainees with 43 graduates (89.5%). The majority were employed by professional spa and hotels after completing their training.  Of particular significance is that the course has established partnerships with 11 new spas in Hue and Da Nang city. This is evidence that this sector of the tourism industry is growing fast and is an encouraging sign for future employment opportunity for our students.

YCI Program

This year, YCI program in Hanoi has attracted the participation of xx disadvantaged youth, delivered xxx hours of training across many different skill areas in the 5-star hospitality sector. This training was delivered and supervised by skilled professionals from the hotels where the students were placed. In addition to this training REACH delivered essential life skills training and mentoring.

Leveraged on its previous accomplishments in Hanoi, REACH's YCI Program has been successfully extended to Southern Vietnam. The first YCI course in Ho Chi Minh City was conducted with the engagement of four our new partnering high-end hotels: Sheraton Sai Gon, Le Meridien, InterContinental Sai Gon and Renaissance. This collaboration has enabled us to provide quality and high standard training to 53 YCI trainees who successfully graduated in February 2018. 

Social Enterprise

The development of Social Enterprises has been identified as a major strategic objective for REACH. Its goals are to enhance student learning outcomes through a business model that also delivers an income stream. This income will create financial sustainability for REACH in the future.  The social enterprise initiatives in the past year were Koi Bento, a Japanese bento box delivery service, and EM Hair salon.

While generating revenue to reinvest in our training program and sustaining our financial capacity, these businesses provide invaluable opportunities for our trainees to deliver on real customer-related tasks. Over the past year, Koi Bento and EM Hair Salon model have engaged 238 REACH trainees attending Cooking, Hairdressing, Sales and Marketing and Graphic Design courses.  In addition, they have achieved significant business outcomes for start-up enterprises.

Koi Bento

KOI Bento is a Social Enterprise initiative in which income generated helps disadvantaged young people training at REACH. The business provides a healthy Japanese lunch meal delivered to customers at their workplace. The preparation of KOI Bento is done by REACH’s Japanese trained chefs assisted by their trainees. The trainers in the cooking program were trained in the skills of Japanese cuisine by master chefs in Japan. The enterprise is rapidly expanding its customer base to include Vietnamese businesses, foreign corporations, and Hanoi based NGOs.

EM Hair Salon

Inspired by Em – a determined and brave girl who attended REACH’s hairdressing training course with hope to begin a new life after suffering domestic violence, EM Hair Salon was opened with contributions from volunteers, REACH trainees and talented alumni. The salon provides high-quality hairdressing and styling services with experienced staff team while delivering in-salon training to REACH students. The business is performing well as a start-up enterprise and there are ambitious plans to expand it to other venues in Hanoi.

Student story - Thuy, a trainee of Cooking batch 37, REACH Hanoi

Thuy is a girl originating from a family in Thanh Hoa province. Her family is one of the poorest households in the commune with the income of less than US$45 per month. Her parents are both farmers. However, the income generated from farm work is so low that they have to find different seasonal work to make ends meet. Her father had a hearing difficulty so finding a job was very challenging. During harvesting season, he was hired to help other households' farming work with the pay of 2.5 dollars per day,5-7 days a week. Thuy's mother sold home-grown vegetables at a local market and collected trash that can be recycled to sell. 

After finishing high school, Thuy wanted to pursue university but she knew it would be just a dream. She enrolled in a 3-year vocational training program at a college but then dropped out because she could not afford training fees. During her time at the vocational college, Thuy took part-time work at a restaurant, which finished at 10.30pm, to cover her living cost. However, after spending 2 years pursuing college, Thuy decided to stop her education because of the unaffordable tuition fees.

Then she was introduced to REACH by a friend of hers and she grasped this opportunity.

“At first, I was shy, unsociable and afraid to talk to anyone. But then my teacher encouraged me and my fellow trainees to share our own stories with each other and it worked. We felt more connected, comfortable and we trusted others to confide in. REACH felt like home to me” said the girl.

She is now working at the Cooking Division of Sushi Kei restaurants and able to earn around 4.5 million Vietnam dong per month. Such income enables her to give her family some financial support. Thuy has a plan to learn Japanese because “The language competency will be my asset when applying for a new job and it gives me better leverage to career promotion and wage increase”. 

Links:

Coding class
Coding class

In 2017, after a long period of research into market demand and real-world conditions of REACH students, we designed the Web Coding course with the intention of helping these students find a good job. 

Nowadays, Digital Technology is developing more and more, leading to a high demand for technical skills such as Web Coding. These jobs require strong professional skills and students need to be trained to be able to meet market demand and earn a very attractive salary. In addition, these jobs do not require much physical movement which makes them extremely suitable for young people with leg disabilities or difficulty in traveling.

 REACH has decided to open the "Web Coding" class at REACH Hanoi with enthusiastic support from students. Currently, the first course consists of 14 trainees. Teachers and students are very focused and dedicated to teaching and learning so that after 6 months graduates will have good professional skills and be ready for a better future.

 With the ongoing efforts of our teachers and REACH staff, we will continue to monitor, evaluate and improve this course, adding a valuable alternative to this vocational orientation for the future.

 REACH would like to sincerely thank our sponsors and businesses for their contribution to this meaningful course!

In other updates, KOI Bento - a Social Enterprise initiative in which 100% of profits help disadvantaged young people studying at REACH - is just launched. 

KOI Bento provides the service of Japanese lunch-box delivery. The preparation of KOI Bento is done by REACH cooking students and so provides them with an opportunity to improve their skills in a business environment. Most foods which make up the main ingredients are imported from Japan and are served in a completely Japanese style. Fresh raw vegetables are carefully selected from local markets.

 When it comes to KOI, you can be completely assured of the quality of the food. Carefully selected raw ingredients, delicate processing and amazing decoration will help you enjoy a nutritious meal with a rich Japanese flavor KOI lunch:

    Japanese main ingredients! 

   Japanese processing style! 

  Varied menu, daily specials!

   Quick delivery service! 

 Facebook Fanpage: KOI Bento - Am thuc Nhat Ban

Coding class #2
Coding class #2
KOI Bento cook and students
KOI Bento cook and students
Bento box made by REACH students
Bento box made by REACH students

Links:

Graduation product of cooking students
Graduation product of cooking students

Jan – June  2017 is the period when everything in our core program falls into place. 346 youth graduated from REACH training program in the first half of 2017 with above targeted job placement outcomes. Another batch of 224 students started their training at the end of March.

In this period, we officially expanded 6 months on-the- job hospitality training program (YCI) to Ho Chi Minh city with the participatioin of  Le Meridien Saigon, InterContinental Saigon, Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers and Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon.

Besides the partnership with 5 stars hotels, we have also developed a new work based training partnership in Danang with FPT, one of the biggest IT corporations in Vietnam. Toward this partnership, Web & Graphic Design students will receive foundation IT training at REACH for 2.5 months before they are sent to FPT for advanced training for 1 month. FPT is also committed to recruit REACH students upon satisfactory performance. Out of 20 WGD students who were sent to FPT in Danang for advanced training, 16 have received offers to continue working with FPT in projects targeting Japanese customers

This month, 23 youngsters graduated from cooking course after 3 months of training. Once again, we had the pleasure of doing the hard work of being judges in their final exams. We tried our best to be critical but couldn't help hiding our pride when seeing their products and how far the students have gone after only 3 months time.

If you wonder what REACH's cooking students are and What they do after graduating from REACH? Let's meet Thang and Thuy.

Thang

Thang has 5 siblings. He is from a poor farming family in Thanh Hoa province. Thang dropt out of school at grade 9 because his parents could not afford his schooling.

Thang dropt out of school to help his mother in farming work for a few years before starting working in a wood workshop 2 years ago. Thang's father was former soldier. He was shot in his head and had to leave the army and was diagnosed with heart defect two years ago. The whole family relied on farming work, which only provided income of about 10 million ( about $500 per year).

Thang is currently attending cooking training at REACH. Thang knew about REACH through an introduction from a friend who studied F&B at REACH. One of the things Thang remembers the most is how hard it was to toss mixing food with pan (it took him 4 days to learn the skill!)

Thang plans to work for 4-5 years to improve his cooking skill and have enough savings to open a small restaurant in his hometown.

 

Thuy

Thuy is 20 years old, from a farming family in Thanh Hoa province. Her family is one of the poorest household in the commune with the income of less than $45 per month. ( They are certified as poor household by local government).

Thuy has one younger brother, who is at grade 10. Her father and mother are both farmers. However, the income from farming work is so little that they have to find different seasonal work to earn extra income for the family. Her father has a hearing diffculty so it has been very challenging for him to find job. During harvest season, he can be hired to help other households' farming work with the pay of about 2.5 dollars per day. But the job only lasts for 5-7 days.

Thuy's mother also sells home-grown vegetable at a local market. She also collected trash that can be recycled to sell. 

After finishing grade 12, Thuy wanted to attend university but she knew that it would be just a dream. She enrolled in a 3 year vocational training program at a college but then dropt out because she could not afford training fees. When she studied at the vocational college, Thuy took part-time job at a duck restaurant to cover the expenses. After finishing her class in the morning, Thuy went to the duck restaurant . At the restaurant, there was no time to rest. She did different kind of work, from pucking the tails/ feather out of ducks, running the table, serving the customer, selling, washing the dishes.  Her work continued until 10.30pm, only then she could have dinner. After that, she rode her bicyle for another 30 minutes to her dormity, which was close by then. 

After 2 years, Thuy decided to stop her college education as it's too expensive for her. Then she was introduced to REACH through a friend. Thuy know that REACH's free vocational training program is a chance for her. 

Thuy graduated from REACH cooking training in March 2017. Now she is working as a cook at Japanese Sushi Kei restaurant. 

Graduation product of cooking students
Graduation product of cooking students
Thang
Thang
Thuy
Thuy
Cooking students
Cooking students

Links:

YCI students demostrate their skills
YCI students demostrate their skills

In February, we celebrated the graduations ceremony of 39 students of Youth Career Initative (YCI). They spent 24 weeks participating in on-job training at five-star hotels in Hanoi including Hilton, Sheraton, InterContinental and JW Marriot. 

Under the program, each student underwent more than 750 hours of mentoring and hospitality training provided as part of the hotels’ daily operations. Students worked as hotel staff and are rotated through hotel functions, ranging from security and housekeeping to cooking and luggage services.

Besides technical training, the students received soft skills, computer and English language training at REACH. REACH is also in charge of placing the students at jobs after they graduate and following up their employment for 6 months.

By the time of their graduation, 34 out of 39 YCI graduates have already found suitable employment. Among them, 14 continued to be employed by YCI participating 5-star hotels.

So who are YCI students? What are their stories? How was that 24 months to them? Let's meet Chi.

...

My name is Nguyen Thi Chi. I’m 22 years old. I was born and grew up Ha Tinh.

When I was only 3 years old, I was deprived from love of my mother and protection of my father. Without love from my parents and good living condition, I felt myself like a fish out of water and pitiful among people. Having a true family has always been  a burning dream . I have a younger brother named Long, who is 18 years old.

After my parents’death, my brother and I were brought up by my grandmother. Despite her old age, she was the breadwinner, who looked after us.

Hunger and poverty kept chasing us. Crops were all swept away by flood. Running out of rice, my grandmother often borrowed some from our neighbours to feed us with sweet potatoes and cassavas.  There was nothing worthy in our house except a bed. Having no choice, my brother and I went to rice mills to beg for food helping my grandmother. My grandmother, despite sunny or rainy days, patiently looked for snails and small craps and gathered every rice flowers left after a harvest. Despite the difficulties, she saved every penny so that we could go school like our friends.

I went to school in the morning. In the afternoon, I collect timber/wood from nearby forest to sell at market. In summer time, there were days under muggy sun of June, I tended oxen to get by. Time flew by, when I finished grade 9, my grandmother encouraged me to go out for work, save some money to learn an occupation.

One day, I decided to go to Hanoi to work. My first job was domestic helper. New environment, new feelings made me discouraged. I hoped if only time could pass quickly so that I could go back home and live by my grandmother and my brother. Even if we have to eat  sweet potatoes and cassava to survive, that would be ok to me as long as I could come back home.

Whenever walking past high buidings, high-class apartments, hotels, I aspired I would be there one day. I always cherished to work in five star hotels, but I didn’t know how to reach my dream and there was also no one teach me how to make it happen.

One day, through a friend I got to know about YCI program, which gives me opportunity to learn in the environment that I dreamt of.

I was a trainee in Housekeeping at Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake. At first time I didn’t use to new environment. Sometimes I was sad for not helping my trainers but also bothering them. However, I felt myself happy to get encouraging words from my trainers “Fighting! I believe you can do! Fighting! I believe you can get over!” Those words urged me to try more in work not to betray my teachers, my trainers and my friends.

During that 6 months, I was always thoroughly adviced by my trainers, from the minor things. The first two months I worked under my trainer’s instructions, after three months, I could work independently and got the top of my hotel marking scheme. That memory left me an impression forever and was a stepping stone for me to try more.

6  months is not long but to me it was my most meaningful and significant time. There were times falling, at the moment of standstill, I recognized I didn’t stay alone but always received thoughful recommendations and protection from my teachers. I also attended practical extracurricular lessons organized by hotels and REACH.  To a homeless girl like me, compared to the start, I’m now more confident in English communication.

In the future, I wish to get a stable job in Hanoi to help myself, my grandmother and take my brother to Hanoi for studying. I also wish to buy a wheelchair for my grandmother, so she could go to anywhere she likes. I would feel high up in the sky if those wishes come true.

By the time Chi graduated from YCI program in February, she had found a job at luxury Fraiser Suits in Hanoi.

Happy and proud Chi on graduation day
Happy and proud Chi on graduation day
YCI trainee at pastry department
YCI trainee at pastry department
Anh is now a full-time housekeeper
Anh is now a full-time housekeeper

Happy New Year!

We hope you had a fantastic holiday break and that your 2017 - like ours - is off to a running start. Before we launch into the year ahead, we wanted to take a moment to show you the impact your support has had over the last 12 months. 2016 was a year full of achievements for REACH and hopefully with your support, 2017 will be even bigger.

Here's what we did together in 2016:

1. Changed lives

This year we provided vocational training and job placement services to 1086 disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. Among our students last year was Anh, a young woman who endured years of domestic abuse and lived below the poverty line before joining REACH's housekeeping program in Danang. She graduated with a full time job and is now able to support her mother and younger siblings. Read her incredible story here

2. Launched new market-driven training courses

With your support, we also launched two new training courses: a cooking class and 6-month 3D-modelling course. Both of these courses will equip students with in-demand skills sought after employers in these sectors, which are experiencing significant skilled worker shortages. 

3. Developed program-enhancing partnerships

In 2016, REACH joined hands with German IT/design firm BR24 to launch a brand new 3D-modelling course for disadvantaged youth, with a particular emphasis on students with disability. The equipment, teaching staff and technical expertise was generously supplied by BR24 and will enable REACH to deliver this training independently in future. 

With the help of the Asia Foundation and Starbucks Vietnam we also commenced a joint F&B training project that will benefit 50 disadvantaged youth over the coming year. Starbucks will provide technical input and staffing resources to deliver industry-leading training lectures and workshops in partnership with REACH. 

4. We set up a social enterprise

In the latter half of the year, we launched our social enterprise EM Hair Salon! In addition to generating funds to support our hairdressing class in Hanoi, this training salon provides a real work environment for REACH hairdressing graduates to apply their skills and interact with local and foreign clients. Visit our FB page here

5. We won awards (!)

Capping off an already big year, REACH was named one of the 12 Most Sustainable Development Models in Vietnam by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations - the government body overseeing NGOs in Vietnam. In addition to this, REACH was also named by Irish Aid and the Research Centre for Management and Sustainable Development (MSD) as one of 12 Organisations with the Most Outstanding Practices in Transparency and Accountability and the NGO with the most impressive development in Vietnam. These are incredible honours and we'd like to thank our amazing staff and network for supporting our work. 

We couldn't do this without you. 

Students at our new cooking class in Hanoi
Students at our new cooking class in Hanoi
Our F&B students at our partnership ceremony
Our F&B students at our partnership ceremony
Our social enterprise EM Hair Salon in Hanoi
Our social enterprise EM Hair Salon in Hanoi
REACH at the MSD/Irish Aid Inspiring CSOs event
REACH at the MSD/Irish Aid Inspiring CSOs event
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

REACH

Location: Hanoi, Hanoi City - Vietnam
Website: http:/​/​www.reach.org.vn
Project Leader:
Phuong Nguyen
Hanoi, Vietnam
$37,954 raised of $60,000 goal
 
389 donations
$22,046 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate
Add Project to Favorites
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.