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ChildFund Vietnam celebrates 25 years of working in partnership to improve children’s lives

Twenty-five years ago, ChildFund began its work in Vietnam; implementing child-focused development programs in the remote district of Ky Son, located in the country’s mountainous northern region.

Working in partnership with just four communes, home to around 1200 children and families struggling with high levels of deprivation, ChildFund Vietnam focused its efforts on improving access to basic – and essential – needs.

Our earliest initiatives in these rural villages sought to reduce widespread child malnutrition; increase access to healthcare, safe water and sanitation; generate new livelihood opportunities for the low-income families; and improve the startling low school attendance rates.

Access to quality education has always been a pillar of ChildFund Vietnam’s programming. In a region of significant ethnic diversity, and where few children speak Vietnamese at home, it is vital that children and young people be given the opportunity to learn, and to overcome potential language barriers which can prevent them from accessing opportunities in the future.

Creating child-friendly, supportive, and engaging learning environments was key. Our team successfully worked in partnership with education staff, local authorities, parents, and young people to achieve this.

Today, teacher training programs, classroom and playground construction, new educational resources, and the creation of School Boards of Management mean that in Ky Son district 100 per cent of children now complete their primary education. This is a remarkable achievement.

Since those early days, ChildFund Vietnam has expanded its reach in the north of the country, and today works in 58 communes, in 10 districts, across three rural provinces – Hoa Binh, Cao Bang, Bac Kan – as well as the urban Hanoi Municipality.

In the last year alone, our projects reached almost 90,000 individuals, around half of whom were children and young people.

As the world for children has changed, so have ChildFund’s initiatives. We are now responding to the new threats to children’s wellbeing, with a focus on keep children safe from harm. This supports global efforts to progress target 16.2 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: to end all forms of violence against children.

Increasing, and affordable, internet availability is increasing children’s exposure to online abuse and exploitation. ChildFund’s Swipe Safe program is supporting young people to take advantage of digital technologies, while also ensuring they can take active steps to keep safe online.

Building safer environments is also a feature of our new partnership with the Vietnam Government’s Department of Child Affairs and Microsoft. Together, we have launched a new child protection application, which can be used by young people to report incidents of abuse and seek support.

ChildFund Pass It Back, a unique sport for development program, is giving young people in rural areas the opportunity to learn valuable life skills through organised community sport. With a focus on inclusion, over half of all players and coaches are girls and young women.

In the early 2000s, I spent several years working and living in Vietnam with my own daughter. It holds a special place in both of our hearts, and I am incredibly proud of our staff who show such dedication and commitment to changing the lives of vulnerable children.

Our achievements in Vietnam are also due to the strong collaboration with the Vietnamese government, civil society groups, individual and institutional donors, and the communities and the young people at the centre of our mission.

Together we are stronger. And together, we will continue to ensure more children in Vietnam can say: “I am safe. I am educated. I contribute. I have a future.”

Stories from our program areas

Ms. Thu Cao Le – A dedicated teacher

Ms. Thu Cao Le – A dedicated teacher

For students and teachers alike at Ngoc My commune Primary and Secondary school, Ms. Cao Le Thu is well-known for…
Ms. Thu Cao Le – A dedicated teacher
Establishment of Organization of Persons with Disabilities (OPD) in Na Ri district, Bac Kan province on 1 September 2021

Establishment of Organization of Persons with Disabilities (OPD) in Na Ri district, Bac Kan province on 1 September 2021

Mr. Nong Van Chuan has been participating in ChildFund’s projects since 2009. As a person with disability himself, Chuan, leader…
Establishment of Organization of Persons with Disabilities (OPD) in Na Ri district, Bac Kan province on 1 September 2021
Reaching full potential – The story of Khanh Van

Reaching full potential – The story of Khanh Van

Van was enrolled to ChildFund Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) since she was 4. Since then, Van has been regularly monitored…
Reaching full potential – The story of Khanh Van
Assisting parents in classrooms at Trung Khanh

Assisting parents in classrooms at Trung Khanh

For many children across Vietnam, their first day of school on September 5 this year will be much different. Their…
Assisting parents in classrooms at Trung Khanh
30 days volunteering for love

30 days volunteering for love

After a trip to visit his family in Sai Gon, Mr. Dinh Xuan Lam, Technical Officer of ChildFund Vietnam’s Clean…
30 days volunteering for love
Bringing the world to a small village in Vietnam

Bringing the world to a small village in Vietnam

Sixteen-year-old Diep lives in a village in northern Vietnam. When she began school more than a decade ago, teachers relied…
Bringing the world to a small village in Vietnam