In the last decade, over 10 million people have escaped poverty in Vietnam. However, poverty in ethnic minority groups such as the La Hu and H’Mong remains rampant. Vietnam has yet to improve the quality of life for the more vulnerable groups of society and treat all citizens equally. The multi-dimensional poverty rate for ethnic minorities is 35.7% compared to the national multi-dimensional rate of around 9%. The poverty rate for La Hu and H’Mong is starkly higher at 84.9% and 82.9%. Fortunately, many charities operating in Vietnam are helping to bridge the inequality gap.
5 Charities Operating in Vietnam
- The Global Village Foundation (GVF) – The GVF was founded in 2000 by philanthropist and author Le Ly Hayslip. Their mission is to use humanitarian work to elevate the standard of life for people throughout rural Vietnam as well as Southeast Asia. Le Ly grew up in Xa Hoa Quy during the Vietnam War. She witnessed the devastation of the war, which impelled her to establish two organizations: the Global Village Foundation and East Meets West Foundation. Both organizations provide basic needs such as food, shelter, medical assistance and education to help rebuild Vietnam. The GVF is now one of the most prominent charities in Vietnam. They offer apprenticeship programs to help young people develop their leadership skills and create projects that help disadvantaged people around the world. They also offer school construction, school cultural exchange programs and disaster aid. Most recently, in June 2023, they celebrated their 30th anniversary by converting an abandoned high school building into the Village of Hope Orphanage in Danang.
- Action Aid – Vietnam has one of the largest female workforces in Asia. However, the rate of domestic violence and underage marriage is high. One in 10 girls are married under the age of 18. Established in 1989 as one of the most important international charities in Vietnam, Action Aid supports women and girls across the world. They educate local communities about women’s rights and hold girls’ clubs in schools, creating a safe space where girls can learn about their bodies. They empower girls to fight for their right to education and live free from violence. In 2015, Action Aid spoke with over 1,200 people living in Hoa Binh about childcare and household chores done solely by women that are taken for granted. Their COVID-19 response has also reached around 46,000 people in Vietnam.
- Children’s Hope in Action – Children’s Hope in Action (CHIA) is an NGO based in Hoi An and works within the wider Quang Nam province to help disadvantaged children. It was founded by Robyn Morley in 2006. In 2000, Morley volunteered at an orphanage for disadvantaged children. She met malnourished children who were often sent to an orphanage due to the low financial conditions of their families. She established CHIA to bridge the gap in the availability of aid and services for children.
- Little Rose Warm Shelter – In 1992, the Ho Chi Minh City Child Welfare Association established the Little Rose Warm Shelter (LRWS). More than 290,000 disadvantaged young people have been helped by the association. The LRWS is one of the few local charities in Vietnam that focuses on rehabilitating and providing aid for girls who are victims of sexual and domestic abuse in Ho Chi Minh City. The LRWS empowers young girls by providing education, job opportunities, therapy, health care facilities and shelter. They spread awareness on how to care for victims of abuse and prevent child abuse within community groups by collaborating with the local authorities. They use social enterprises to fund their services. The Little Rose Bakery sells scrumptious baked goods to continue helping young girls.
- Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation – In early 2003, the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation began to help children in crises all over Vietnam. Whether it is in the bustling city streets or the quiet rural areas, the Blue Dragon provides aid to adolescents who are victims of trafficking, homelessness, illness, drug abuse and sexual exploitation. In 2002, the Blue Dragon’s journey started when Michael Brosowski, an Australian teacher, began teaching English to a small group of children who were cleaning shoes to survive. By 2003, Brosowski, Pham Sy Chungi and their friends from university had established a residence for homeless children in Hanoi. Over the past 20 years, they have helped girls from forced marriages and brothels in China, opened a safe house for boys suffering from neglect and advocated to improve policies regarding child labor and safeguarding vulnerable children. Now, in 2023, more than 20,000 adolescents have been rescued across Vietnam.
All of these charities operating in Vietnam continue to work selflessly for vulnerable groups in society. They are actively driving Vietnam towards a brighter future and lowering the rate of poverty.
– Sharvi Rana