Be a Part of the Global Village: Support Students in Vietnam
Support the next generation of leaders & create a more sustainable community development paradigm 🙌
International development almost always follows the same narrative. The expert arrives, assesses the problem, and develops a plan or solution. On occasion, they may talk with local community members, but rarely have time to engage with people in a meaningful way. As a result, well-intentioned projects often fail, and motivated locals no longer feel they have the capacity to solve problems. This vicious cycle is made worse by education curriculum that prioritizes academic proficiency and expert knowledge, but fails to allow students to develop the soft skills necessary to work alongside the community. We believe a new approach is needed to create more vibrant, sustainable communities through prioritizing the hopes, dreams, and ingenuity of the people through stronger education and community development initiatives.
Our Solution: Global Village Vietnam
After many failed projects and a shared frustration over the lack of community involvement in the development process, we took a chance and launched an innovative fieldwork program. Instead of focusing on the problems, such as pollution or poverty, we build upon the heritage, strengths, and resources of the places we visit. Our goal? Give students the skills and hands-on experience they need to implement community development solutions from the ground up. By completing the course, they can feel confident in their efforts to bring people together and connect the available resources to implement their own projects locally. Our hope? Professionals and government officials witness the successes of students and see different participatory approaches in action. And ideally, implement asset-based community development tools in their work to create opportunities for more locally driven, transformative change. Over the past five years, we have slowly been working to change the development narrative and give the next generation of leaders the tools they need to take action in their communities.
Global Village Vietnam is different because it leads to immediate results, which have by far exceeded our expectations and has had an exponential impact.
Between 2015-2018, 87 students participated in the Global Village Vietnam fieldwork program, and have gone on to become leaders in their own communities. Some have started or gotten more involved in community-based organizations, such as Bright Future for Kids and the Hoi An Eco-City Working Group. Whereas others have used it to launch their career, and currently work at NGOs like the Red Cross and 350.org.
After introducing this opportunity to students, professionals started to request the same training! Since 2015, 41 professionals, including, university faculty, NGO staff, and government officials, have completed the program, directly impacting the work of more than eight organizations across five different provinces.
Most recently, the asset-based community development curriculum that we introduced was used as a key tool to start the Ly Son - Sa Huhyn Geopark. This has included creating community-based tourism and livelihoods development models for the small island in Ly Son and the Xom Co Community in Quang Ngai Province. In both cases, the community is taking the lead, and we couldn't be more excited about what is taking shape.
What can you do to help?
With contributions from generous donors like you, we have already accomplished so much! This year we have relaunched Global Village Vietnam through a formal partnership between the DaNang University of Education and Institute for Village Studies. In August 2019, students from Vietnam, Japan, and the United States will learn about asset-based community development and be the first student-group to work with the Xom Co Village in the Quang Ngai Province. Your donation will make it possible for a Vietnamese university student to participate in August 2019. Our goal is to raise enough money to cover the costs of 10 students to participate in the two-week field study program. In turn, this will allow us to get the buy-in we need to take the first steps in making sure this program is embedded within the university curriculum and has an impact far into the future.
Our Village Ambassadors will match $1,000 in donations. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. We believe in this program and ask you to join us on the next step of our mission to empower youth and build stronger communities in Vietnam.