Keynote Speaker - Mdm. Ton Nu Thi Ninh
On 14 November, LIN organized the event, "From Compassion to Action", which honored 40 Human Resource Management professionals who supported nine NPOs through the Community Partnership Initiative (CPI) program in 2015. The event took place on the morning of the 14th November at the Institute of Cultural Exchange with France (IDECAF).
Former Diplomat Mdm. Ton Nu Thi Ninh, was the special guest and keynote speaker for the event. In her remarks, she stressed that money is not the main answer in humanitarian work and that humanitarianism is not simply about giving... .
"I think over the concept of give and take, and I prefer that we use the concept of sharing. When we talk about giving and receiving, although it is correct that this is a two-way process, reciprocity, the word "give" comes across as though it is an action of a superior, someone who has the upper hand; while the receiver is viewed as being inferior, as if they are in a weaker position... Instead, we can use the concept of sharing, which is a more empowering concept." shared Madame Ton Nu Thi Ninh.
“From Compassion to Action” was the culminating event for the CPI 2015, which launched in July. The first prize to the most efficient team, in terms of operations, was awarded to the team of ProSelf and Thien An Shelter. The second prize to the most supportive volunteer group was awarded to a team of skilled volunteers who partnered with the Breast Cancer Network of Vietnam. The NPOs in both teams each received a small grant to support continued HR improvements (VND 40 million and VND 30 million respectively).
Following the event, Ms. Fiammetta Mancini, UNV Programme Officer in Vietnam, shared her views on the CPI program and volunteerism in Vietnam:
“As a global advocate for the recognition of volunteerism, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Vietnam would like to show appreciation to the skilled volunteers who have contributed their time and expertise to support local NPOs within LIN Center’s Community Partnership Initiative (CPI), as well as encourage those who are considering volunteering for the first time or will continue volunteering following the “From Compassion to Action” Event organized by LIN Center on 14th November.
The CPI is indeed an example of how everyone can play a role in the healthy growth of our communities, and thus our countries, and of how volunteering can become part of a lifestyle.
UNV, present in Vietnam since 1990, and LIN Center have now been collaborating for several years, as UNV supports the cause of LIN Center in providing a valuable platform for volunteering in Ho Chi Minh City, and we commend their efforts in strengthening communities through volunteerism. Such efforts are even more needed in the new era of Sustainable Development, which has just started with the adoption on the Sustainable Development Goals to guide us in the achievement of more equitable and sustainable societies by 2030. This new set of common goals, established through an extensive and inclusive process of consultations, is very ambitious and comprehensive, ranging from the eradication of poverty, to quality education for all, gender equality, taking urgent action to combat climate change, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, and other important areas, with the underpinning principle of “leaving no one behind”.
If we count exclusively on government policy, private and public investment to make things happen, we probably will not have enough resources to reach everybody. You cannot ensure we leave no one behind without volunteers. It is in this context of enhanced commitment to work together towards shared goals of Sustainable Development that I congratulate LIN Center and all the skilled volunteers for the good work side by side with NPOs who are striving to improve communities. With my best wishes and the hope to hear more stories of skilled volunteers in Vietnam”.
Reflections from a CPI 2015 Volunteer, Ms. Nguyen Thanh Nga
On July 2015, thanks to LIN, our Decathlon group matched with Thien Tâm Huong, an NPO (not-for-profit organization). This is the first time we participated in the event as skilled volunteers.
At first, we learned that three months preparing for this program was a long time compared to other social works that only took place in the course of one day. However, after starting the work with Thien Tam Huong, we realized that three months was not long enough. While some charity or social works such as blood donation or cleaning up offers immediate results, this project took an entire process to get to that point.
After our very first experience cooperating with LIN, we recognized that this is a very meaningful activity indeed.
Though it took time to get real results, we realized that if NPOs themselves figure out and solve their own problems, this self-actualization will help them improve their capacity in the process. In some cases, this program helped to raise awareness and that in itself has very long term effect on developing organizations.
We are worried about NPOs nowadays that first started out as a small size organization with a great mission for the entire community yet often times have a shortage of resources to implement their programs and activities. When these same NPOs have transitioned to a bigger scale, many new problems may arise particularly with management and team capacity. Will their NPOs’ leaders have strong enough visions to change, adapt or transition to new leadership when new situations or challenges arise?
As volunteers, we have learned a lot of things while consulting for NPOs. Besides understanding more about different activity models, we realized there are many communities’ values that were aimed by various NPOs’ activities. We also learned how to work more flexibly in order to adapt to our NPO partner’s individual challenges and realities.
Above all, we were very happy when our partner received their achievements. That is one of the many ways for us to contribute back to the community.
BCNV & Volunteer Reps Share Their Experience
Participants at "From Compassion to Action"