Study Abroad in Vietnam

Learn How Students Can Play a Positive Role in Community Development

Study abroad in Vietnam & learn from local residents.

Written By Ashley Hollenbeck

I came to the Institute for Village Studies because I believe study abroad and community development are not mutually exclusive. Together they can have a transformative impact. This is evident in Vietnam where I have worked with local stakeholders over the last five years to create an innovative fieldwork program based on the tenets of asset-based community development (ABCD). Instead of focusing on a community’s needs and problems, we teach students strategies to work with local people and uncover strengths and assets to support more sustainable development. In doing so, our goal is to create more resilient communities that value their local heritage, while protecting the fundamental web of cultural and environmental threads that have held society together for centuries.  

This project started as an international education program to bring together university students from different countries in Asia. However, the curriculum proved to be so valuable that professionals from local government agencies, NGOs and community organizations often request to take part. To date, 79 students and 41 professionals, including, university faculty, NGO staff, and government officials, have completed the program, directly impacting the work of eight organizations. Government departments have institutionalized the principles of ABCD and successfully implemented projects, while students and community groups have used the framework to bring local stakeholders together to work towards a shared vision.

Study Abroad with IVS in Vietnam

This year we are proud to announce that we will re-launch the program with IVS! On my visit to Vietnam last month IVS and the University of Da Nang – University of Science and Education formalized our partnership through an MOU (memorandum of understanding) signing ceremony. Our goal is to ensure students from Vietnam continue to take part in IVS programs, and that the curriculum we use is guided by local faculty, government officials and community groups. Taking this vital step will ensure this program is radically different than anything currently offered in international education.

Over the coming weeks, I will share some highlights of this unique program, including, successful projects that have embraced the ABCD methodology, inspirational change-makers that make this program a reality, and exciting opportunities to get involved in IVS’s work. If you’re interested in learning more or traveling with us to Vietnam this summer, check out our study abroad and travel programs.

Introducing the IVS LEAD Board

IVS Lead Board
IVS Lead Board
We are proud to announce the IVS LEAD Board, which is a diverse representation of Washington's brightest women and men aged 20-40 years old.

The Leadership Exploration Action and Development (LEAD) board will function as an integral part of the Institute for Village Studies (IVS) to help achieve its mission to collaborate with village communities in achieving their vision for a better future at home and abroad. Those who participate on the IVS LEAD board will not only help promote its mission and programs in our local community, but will also serve as an important link between the social and environmental justice projects that the organization participates in abroad. The IVS LEAD board will engage with the local community to achieve this mission in various innovative and collaborative ways such as; building relationships with other nonprofits, providing a platform for alumni to share their experiences and ideas, and developing local and international projects that are aligned with IVS programs and initiatives.

The IVS LEAD board is comprised of creative leaders who are working to make a difference both at home and abroad and who recognize the value and importance of international travel, social justice, and environmental stewardship. To learn more and become involved in this exciting and creative opportunity, apply for board membership today!

Kelsey Burghoffer, who was born and raised in Bellingham, is working to launch the IVS LEAD board and she has been passionate about travel and making a difference in the world around her for as long as she can remember. Trips to Mexico and Europe when she was younger left her feeling inspired and humbled by the magnificence of the world and the people in it, but always felt like something was missing from just exploring the “tourist” routes. She longed to dig deeper into the cultures of the places she visited, which were so different from her own, and really connect with the people who lived there.

She was fortunate enough to go to India and Thailand with the Institute for Village Studies when she attended Western Washington University in 2009 and it was on that trip that Kelsey learned how to travel in a way that had been missing from her other experiences; a way to travel where one can develop close relationships and connections with people by living in and collaborating with their community. The cross cultural educational programs that IVS provides has the potential to change not only how one views the world, but also empowers those who participate by practicing how they can truly make a difference with local visionaries and experts.

IVS Lead Board

Social Action Plan Success Stories: Micah Litowitz

Successful Social Action Plan: Micah Litowitz

The Social Action Plan is a defining factor of a study abroad experience with the Institute For Village Studies. It’s an opportunity for a student to utilize what they learned about international development by creating a proposal and implementing a project that is reflective of the larger goals of the communities they visited. Micah Litowitz is an IVS Alumni who traveled on the 2018 Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability in Thailand Program. For her Social Action Plan, she and her partner Isabel Barnwel ran a fundraiser for the Moklen village of Ban Taptawan in Southern Thailand. 

How did you decide on fundraising for the Moklen community for your Social Action Plan?

We decided to fundraise for Ban Taptawan because they were heavily affected by the 2004 tsunami. Although most of their infrastructure has been rebuilt, the Moklen have been struggling with the fight for their land rights against the Thai government and local tourism ever since the tsunami. Both my partner and I were very moved by the stories of the Moklen people. 

How did your relationship with the Moklen Community influence the planning of your proposal?

My partner and I had been brainstorming ideas for projects for a few weeks, but we eventually realized that it should not  be up to us where our money went. We instead listened to the Moklen people whom we had been building relationships with over the past few weeks. That is how we discovered that the Moklen tribe hasda community fund with which the community saves money for communal needs.

Were there any particular factors that contributed to successfully implementing your Social Action Plan?

Working with a friend was extremely helpful, otherwise I don’t think I would have been able to reach out to so many people. Getting my friends and family involved and informing them about the Moklen community helped me reach more people as well.

Have there been any challenges and how have you overcome them?

For a while it felt like our campaign was never going to reach its goal, so staying motivated was challenging, but staying in contact with my Thai and Moklen friends via social media helped remind and motivate me to continue to strive for my goal.

Do you have any advice you would give to students to create and implement an effective Social Action Plan?

I would tell them to be open minded and reach for something reasonable. Listen to the needs of others, and don’t just go for the ‘prettiest’ or most creative projects. Be consistent and don’t quit… it won’t feel good, and it looks pretty bad. Keep in mind the awesome people you met on your study abroad trip! 

What are some highlights from your experience with living with the Moklen community?

Learning a new language and experiencing a different culture for the first time! I’ll never forget the food, fishing on Moklen boats, and experiencing Moklen festivals. It really sparked a desire to travel more.

What does global citizenship mean to you?

To me, being a global citizen means stepping outside of my box and choosing to be uncomfortable in order to learn about others, and to share my culture with those who are interested. Although the experience was really fun, it also helped me better understand my privilege, which is important for everyone to experience. 

How did your view of international development change after working with local communities?

My experience in Thailand really opened my eyes to the harm and destruction of international development. Before going to Thailand, I had some idea of what was going on, but seeing it up close and personal gave me a whole new level of understanding. Not only was the development extremely destructive ecologically, but the social impact on communities were even worse. It reminded me a lot of how Native Americans must have been treated. Land is being stolen, culture is being lost, and capitalism is considered a bigger priority than a lot of lives. I will forever work on being mindful and considerate of where and how I travel, and I have set goals to travel as a method to learn for myself from others, and not to hurt those around me. 

Do you have any plans to utilize what you learned creating a Social Action Plan for future projects?

I am about to graduate with my degree in environmental policy. I think that my first few years out of college will consist of working or volunteering with non-profits such as Green Peace or the Sierra Club. The non-profit (especially environmental) field is very dependent on fundraising and sharing information. I plan on taking the skills I’ve gained in fundraising for the Moklen, and hopefully utilize them after graduation in my efforts to combat climate issues. 

Successful Social Action Plan: Micah Litowitz

Want to be featured? Email us at [email protected]!

IVS Alumni Spotlight: Sam Hruban

IVS Alumni
Traveling abroad with IVS is often a stepping stone for students interested in developing international careers. IVS alumni have gone on to work in a variety of fields such as international education, human rights, and sustainable development. Many of our students also have chosen to focus their efforts in their local communities. We take great pleasure in being part of each student’s development in becoming responsible global citizen and are excited to showcase what our amazing alumni are doing.

Sam Hruban is an IVS Alumni who has travelled extensively with the Institute For Village Studies to Thailand, India, and Burma.

IVS Alumni

When did you study abroad with the Institute For Village Studies and which trip did you go on?

I went on the Himalayan Cultures and Ecology Program my freshman summer in 2013. I returned my last year at WWU for Global Health in the Himalayas in the fall and Northern Thailand and Burma in the winter.

What influenced you to choose this type of study abroad experience?

I was very interested in IVS’s unique trips because students got the opportunity to interact face to face with the local community instead of the typical classroom learning. IVS gave me the opportunity to learn about the problems communities face and how they are overcoming their problems. I was also drawn to the beauty of the locations, getting the opportunity to travel to remote places like Ladakh, India. 

You went on quite a lot of trips with IVS. What kept you coming back?

There were many reasons why I decided to go on my first IVS trip to India: travel, new experiences, traditional food, but the reasons why I returned for a 2nd and 3rd trip were: long lasting friendships, global service, community connection, and exploration.

How did traveling abroad influence your academic or professional goals?

I became very passionate about community development, cultural exchange, and travel during my IVS trips. My experiences during my study abroad trips have stuck with me to this day. I continue to learn about other cultures and look for opportunities to volunteer.

What are you doing now?

After graduating from WWU, I became a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia.  I am currently working towards my Master’s degree in Archaeological Material Sciences in Portugal, Greece, and Italy.  

What advice would you give to a student to make the most of their experience abroad?

My first piece of advice would be to leave all expectations at the door. By starting your trip with and open mind and observing eyes you’ll be able to learn more than you ever thought! My second piece of advice is to go back! My returning trips allowed me to gain even more insight into the challenges communities face and the role community development can play. 

What does being a global citizen mean to you?

To me, being a global citizen means, seeking out opportunities to learn about others. It is through these opportunities that we learn how to engage meaningfully, create compassion, and foster change in this crazy world we share. 

What was a highlight(s) from your study abroad experience? 

There are many highlights from each trip. An incredible dance party at Jhamtse Gatsal with all the kids, listening to a teaching by the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, and my amazing homestay in Thailand where I learned meditation, traditional cooking, and explored caves!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

To anyone reading this, I hope you all take a quarter away from rainy Bellingham and sign up for an IVS trip!

If you are an IVS Alumni and would like to be featured, let know in the comments!

What I learned in a Moklen Village in Thailand

What I learned in a Moklen Village

On nights I can’t sleep, I fill the silence of my Bellingham home with the sound of motorbikes speeding down the streets of a Moklen village in Thailand.

There’s also the sound of waves hitting the beach and geckos clawing at the ceiling. These sounds aren’t really here, they belong in a certain time and space. Sometimes it is hard for me to grasp that once I was in Thailand. But, I know that I can go back when I want, with a strong support system to help me spend my time there responsibly and sustainably.

I went on the Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability in Thailand Program in 2017 with the Institute for Village Studies and was there for a quarter of school, hopping between villages and homestays in three regions of the country. If I had to write about just one thing this trip did for me, I would choose the way it made me feel connected to others. Before I left, I thought it was going to be a lonely few months. Even though I had twelve classmates and three faculty members with me, I still had a fear of being in a new place and all the unpredictability that goes along with that. But, almost as soon as I arrived at my first homestay, I felt at ease. Everyone that I met during my trip was welcoming and caring. I felt welcomed and well taken care of, surrounded by people who gave me an endless feeling of safety and taught me about their community with openness. 

I learned about certain aspects of these communities that I never would have from books.

One of the things that impacted me the most while living in Southern Thailand with the Moklen people, or “Sea Nomads,” was learning about the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 that ravaged many countries around the Indian Ocean. Because I was so young when the tsunami happened, I had never learned about it in detail, but while staying with the Moklen I learned about the ways their village had been affected. The Moklen are more attuned to the sea than most because of generations living and fishing on the water, but even with this knowledge, loved ones were lost in the waves. They were also impacted after the tsunami, as their traditional homes were destroyed and their land was occupied by beach-front resorts.  


Moklen Village

It was strange at times, learning the Moklen’s traditional fishing practices and their almost-extinct language while walking past huge hotels filled with tourists, many of them not knowing they were surrounded by a group of people with a rich history on that land.

It was even more strange thinking about how, if I was not on that specific trip with people guiding me, I probably wouldn’t have known either. I understand the draw of beach-front Thai vacations and resort-living. Thailand is a beautiful country. But, this trip made me understand even more that it is important to look around you and learn, really learn about others and the impact you may be unknowingly having on them. The tourism industry, as we see in many ways, has the potential to destroy indigenous land and practices and can leave people forgotten. But, done in a different way, it has the potential to lift up indigenous cultures and leave everyone with more of a feeling of connectedness.


Our main local partners while staying with the Moklen, Pee-Kay and Pee-Ying, have been working with the community to provide tourism experiences to travelers who want to learn more about local Moklen culture. They’ve gotten community members, mainly the younger generation, to provide tours like fishing and squid trapping expeditions, snorkeling, making traditional baskets and squid traps, etc. It’s their hope that having the younger generations lead these tours will give them pride in their culture- a culture which is often discounted by the Thai government and other tourist operators in the area. They are working on eventually getting the necessary permits to become legitimate tour operators, so they can sell their tours through agencies.

I am trying my best to put into practice the big-picture lessons that I was taught there.

Now that I’ve been home for awhile, aside from not wanting to forget the details of the trip (the smell of the streets, the taste of Tom Yum, the tones of the language), I am trying my best to put into practice the big-picture lessons that I was taught there. I’ve made a more conscious effort to relish the small, silent moments that I have with people in my life. And, I am realizing that every relationship is reciprocal. It is important to know that no matter how much you think you can give someone, they have something to give in return. Something to teach you- with mind or heart.


What I learned in a Moklen Village

This article was written by Emily Stout, an IVS alum and Editor-in-chief for the WWU magazine The Planet.

Social Action Plan Success Stories: Gage Neiffer

Social Action Plan Success Stories: Gage Neiffer with local Tai Yai coordinator Pi Liew

The Social Action Plan is a defining factor of a study abroad experience with the Institute For Village Studies. It’s an opportunity for a student to utilize what they learned about international development by creating a proposal and implementing a project that is reflective of the larger goals of the communities they visited. Gage Neiffer is an IVS Alumni who traveled on the 2018 Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability in Thailand Program. For his Social Action Plan, he returned to the Tai Yai village of Ban Tor Pae in Northern Thailand to teach English. 

Why did you choose to return and teach English in Ban Tor Pae?

I decided to come back and teach in Ban Tor Pae as it was the best situation for both sides involved. It allowed me to come back and further experience a culture that I had connected with in a country that is bursting with vibrance; from the people, to the food, to the nature. It also gave this community its first long term native English speaking teacher. 

How did your relationship with Ban Tor Pae influence the planning of your proposal?

I got to experience two full week as a student with this community through IVS before moving here. In those two weeks, I felt a very real and palpable connection with the people of Tor Pae. There was a lovely woman named Pi Liew who called me Son and I called her Mom. The local leaders of the village took time and energy every day to ensure our comfort and education was up to par. Anytime I walked anywhere I was greeted with smiles, warm hearts, and the gifts of food. This was a community that gave me so much and I wanted to pay it back in folds/.

Were there any particular factors that contributed to successfully implementing your Social Action Plan?

The factor that helped with my project’s success was first and foremost communication. There is not a large English proficiency in Ban Tor Pae and I have the Thai language skills of a four year old, so being thorough, explicit, and early with communication was paramount in implementing my Social Action Plan successfully. 

Have there been any challenges and how have you overcome them?

There honestly haven’t been many challenges. I had everything set up before I left the village during my IVS program, so logistically I was set from the get go. There are some everyday challenges like not having the luxury of hot showers or a bug free bedroom, but those pains are a penny on the dollar of pleasure this place gives me. 

Do you have any advice you would give to students to create and implement an effective Social Action Plan?

Choose something that is doable. What’s doable will vary greatly from person to person. For me, I had previous experience both living in a foreign country and teaching ESL, as well as a few months free to offer. Moving to a Tai Yai village to volunteer was not that big of a stretch. Just try and reach for the best looking fruit that you can realistically grab and take a bite. 

Do you have any plans to utilize what you learned creating a Social Action Plan for future projects?

I plan on teaching English as a profession, so this experience will be quite useful in my future endeavors. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

All in all, I have nothing but good things to say about my experience with IVS. It allowed me to experience so many things that would have otherwise been completely off the table; notably this iceberg slow Thai immigration line I’m waiting in while writing this. But once again, a penny of pain on the dollar of joy that the Land of Smiles offers; sounds like a good deal to me. 

Social Action Plan Success Stories: Gage Neiffer with local Tai Yai coordinator Pi Liew
Gage and local Tai Yai community coordinator Pi Liew in Ban Tor Pae
Follow Gage on Instagram!

Want to be featured? Email us at [email protected]!

A Private Audience With The Dalai Lama

Our Ladakh summer program has come to a close and the group departed Delhi early this morning. They arrived in Seattle on August 7th at 1:10pm. One of the highlights from the trip was a very special experience we have never had before in 18 years of running programs in Himalayas – a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama!

Just before we had left the US for India, the Dalai Lama announced he would be hosting a three-day teaching in the Zanskar Valley during the time we would be there. A good friend of ours, Geshe Yonten, was the Zanskari translator for the event and said he could arrange the meeting with the Dalai Lama. We were a little apprehensive at first to accept this gracious offer.The Dalai Lama’s time is very limited and we wondered if it would be better spent with local Zanskaris. Geshe Yonten thought the cross-cultural programs and water projects that we are doing in Stongdey are important and said it would only be a brief visit. So we agreed and had the incredible honor of a private audience with the Dalai Lama.
He started by asking us what we had learned in Zanskar and then talked about the importance of compassion and unity in creating a more peaceful 21st century. He said that America is the leader of the world and was founded on great principles of democracy, liberty, human rights, and freedom. However, he thought the current America first agenda has it wrong. While we need to represent our citizens a first priority, as a global leader, we also need to represent the world, especially with global warming. He emphasized the oneness of humanity and said it is false that the different regions are not dependent upon one another. He closed by challenging all of us, and particularly the younger generation, to work to the best of our abilities towards contributing to humanity and creating a better world. 
It was a special moment for all of us and one that we hope to live hope to his challenge.
Dalai Lama
Our meeting with the Dalai Lama was a great honor and something we will remember forever!

Four Essential Skills For Working On Community-Driven Development Projects

The first time I stepped foot in a Thai village I felt a myriad of emotions: excitement to immerse myself in a different way of life and learn about community-driven development (after spending the first eighteen years of it solely in the USA), nervous that I would be ignorant of the customs and language, and curious to see how my preconceived ideas of Thai culture would change after actually living in it. The second I met my host family I realized that everything I assumed about living in a Thai village was probably inaccurate. I decided to enter the situation with a blank slate. Instead of using my past experiences, opinions, and worldview to make a judgment on Thai culture, I chose to be an open book.

I did not know it then but taking that approach had a significant influence on how I would eventually work in village communities and other multicultural settings.

The more community-driven development projects I worked on the more I learned which factors contributed positively to and which hindered a project. I found that often the most important role we can take as foreigners is being a helpful and supportive friend. We do this by building trust, identifying common goals with communities, and by not tricking ourselves into believing that the success of a project is determined by our own personal impact on the work, but instead as a result of the whole community’s efforts. I also learned that being able to operate in a foreign culture is a skill and the factors that go into it are overlooked by many people in international development. 

For those who want to pursue a career internationally, here are four essential skills for working on community-driven development projects.

1: Develop Cultural Competency

A culturally competent person is able to identify and develop an understanding of the unique aspects of the different communities with which they work  This can be in the form of customs, linguistic backgrounds, social norms, religious beliefs, history, economics, gender roles, ethnicity, and age. It is an active process that develops the more you spend time in different places. Being culturally competent means that you are able to empathize with a worldview that is different from your own and be able to adapt to and sometimes even adopt it. You seek to understand instead of only being understood. You celebrate the differences in culture instead of expecting things to be done the same way they would be back home. The more competent you become the easier it is to contribute to community-driven development projects that are culturally sustainable.

2: Understand Cultural Sustainability

Many people who work in international development forget to ask if a project they are working on is culturally sustainable. Foreign aid workers visit a community and see something they might not understand and decide the people there are struggling. They think their job is to fix  a perceived problem and introduce new technology, education, or social outreach programs without understanding why a community is experiencing that problem or being aware of  the cultural implications of what they are trying to accomplish.  This results in organizations spending time and money to fix something that is either not broken or introducing projects that would not work in that particular community. So what is a culturally sustainable community-driven development project? It’s collaborating with local community members to implement projects that will be accepted by the larger community because it fits into their cultural context. You will accomplish this if you’ve developed cultural competency, listened and learned from local knowledge, and practiced humility by knowing that your contribution is a small part of a much bigger project.

3: Practice Humility

While it is important to be proud of the work you do in international development, some people get caught up and act like they are a savior to the people. Community-driven development is not about foreigners going to a place where people are incapable of helping themselves, providing services from their home country and believing that it will instantly transform the community so they have all the comforts that the foreigner believes are essential because it is what they are used to. Instead community-led development is a collaborative effort and should be initiated by locals who understand the implications that the project will have on the larger community. Exercising humility leads to building friendships because you acknowledge that the work you do has value because it is contributing to a project with people who are often more capable than you to implement the project effectively and sustainably, not because you are providing aid to a people that cannot help themselves. Take the “you” out of a project and learn to recognize the goals of the community. 

4. Know How to Support Community Goals

While a person might spend  weeks, months, and sometimes even years working in a certain village or town, 99% of people will eventually go home or on to another project somewhere else. This leads some people to believe that the work they do might not have a long term effect. Those who have learned to be culturally competent and recognize the importance of cultural sustainability know that the impact of their work is a result of the greater community’s goals and it does indeed take a village. A project is most effective when a community identifies their own issues and goals and takes the lead on implementing a project. We as foreigners have the privilege of learning from local experts and as a result we should ask what the community needs instead of trying to take the lead. Our role is to be a helpful friend who supports local partners to achieve goals that they have already identified and begun to work on. 

Community-driven development projects are successful when they are collaborative and the people involved are dedicated to finding sustainable ways to improve the lives of the greater populace.

We can positively contribute to these projects by supporting local knowledge, advocating and spreading awareness, and acting as a helpful friend while knowing that our contribution is a small part of a larger process. Developing cultural competency, understanding cultural sustainability, practicing humility, and knowing how to support community goals are skills that will help you contribute positively to projects so that the small impact you do have is of value.

Integrating into Local Communities

How Integrating Into Local Communities Helps Build Relationships in Community-Led Development Projects


Whether you study abroad in a remote Nepali village on the Biocultural and Diversity in Nepal trip or camp in a Thai National Park on the Elephant Conservation in Thailand travel program, integrating into local communities will have a significantly positive effect on your overall experience abroad. As students, travelers, and mindful global citizens, it’s our job to be open and embrace the cultural and social differences we encounter. We are guests in the communities that help facilitate our experiences. Integrating into local communities is an essential step to build lasting friendships, which is often overlooked in sustainable development.

Getting A Running Start

The first step in integrating into local communities starts before you ever leave home. While preparing for your trip, watch movies, cook a meal, read books, listen to music, or use youtube and language websites to learn a bit of the language from the country you will be visiting. Get excited about your trip. Find things you are intrigued by that you can explore more once you arrive in country. This will help you build relationships with people if you are interested in parts of their culture they would not expect general tourists to care about. 

Upon arrival, begin to engage with the local culture. The best way to do this is to take part in the community-driven development projects and cross cultural-education activities in each village. While working with locals, begin to build relationships and learn about each other’s cultures and customs. Not only is it important to show interest in other peoples’ way of life, but to share your culture and experiences.  While in your homestays, practice the local language and continue to learn it. Don’t worry if you don’t pronounce words correctly. People will appreciate the effort you are making to speak with them in their tongue regardless. Also share English vocabulary. When your family is cooking, cleaning, going to the market, or doing any other family activity, join them and contribute however you can.

Dealing with Obstacles

Sometimes it’s necessary to overcome some hurdles when you first arrive in a new village. It’s understandable to feel nervous or unsure of customs or social norms. This can cause people to worry that they are going to do something culturally disrespectful. Consequently, they try not to impose on people and keep to themselves. Part of learning in any environment is about making mistakes and growing from them. It’s no different during a study abroad or travel program. It’s ok to make mistakes.  People will understand you didn’t mean to, especially when they know that your intentions are good. Have a sense of humor and be willing to put yourself out there. It will make the whole experience fun and enjoyable. 

Lasting friendships

Being able to integrate into different communities helps teaches you to work in a diverse range of environments, heightening empathy and cultural competency. Ultimately, if you are open to experiencing a different way of life by embracing the things that make it unique, the relationships that develop as a result will be meaningful. The connections and friendships that we make in the communities we visit are the foundation for long lasting partnerships based on mutual respect, shared visions, and support of community-led development.